Monday, 27 October 2014

NIA and DECC join forces to find solutions to tackle fuel poverty in solid wall properties.

In an event organised by the National Insulation Association (NIA) and its member Hamilton (Building Contractors) Ltd, a team of officials from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), visited Bradford’s Holme Wood Estate in order to examine first-hand the challenges that face the occupants of some of the poorest housing stock in the UK and the Solid Wall Insulation solutions available to them.

“Fuel Poverty affects millions of households in the UK and the situation can occur in all areas and demographics of the country.” Said the CEO of the NIA, Neil Marshall.  “However, this can be particularly prevalent in poorly maintained housing and the types of private rented and owner occupied properties found in inner cities. The Holme Wood Estate in Bradford is an example of fuel poverty and poor insulation at its most extreme. But, as can be seen with this on-site examination of the problems, steps are being taken to meet the challenges and address the situation.”

Neil Marshall added: “There are over 1million fuel poor households living in solid wall properties in private sector housing that are currently unlikely to receive any help through the Energy Company Obligation and Green Deal Home Improvement Fund.  These households are not expected to be insulated under the ECO as they are not cost effective enough for energy companies and fuel poor households are not likely to be able to afford to make the financial contribution needed under the Green Deal.  This visit is all about working together to find alternative solutions.”

The fact finding tour of the Holme Wood Estate with members of DECCs Household Energy Efficiency and Fuel Poverty teams took place today. During the three hour visit the team went to the heart of the estate to see housing both before, during and after the installation of external wall insulation; whilst also assessing the differences between today’s systems and those of 25 years ago. The group also had the chance to talk with local community leaders and residents to discuss the issues they face on a day to day basis and how the installation of external wall insulation has made a huge difference to their lives.

Daniel Mackie, Business Development Director from Hamilton (Building Contractors) Ltd said: “Hamilton’s are delighted to be working with the NIA and DECC to help to create policies that can be introduced to tackle the growing problem of fuel poverty in solid walled homes in the private sector”. Daniel also added “For 20 years, we have been delivering the benefits of External Wall Insulation to homes such as these in Holme Wood, with the Socially owned properties being the first to benefit through schemes like decent homes. Now though, those left living in thermally in-efficient properties, are generally in the private sector and more needs to be done to support those most in need, those in fuel poverty. Hopefully days like today can play a part in shaping that support.”

Thursday, 23 October 2014

NIA calls on Vince Cable, Secretary of State at BIS to work with Ed Davey, Secretary of State at DECC to address delayed payments under the Energy Company Obligation(ECO)

Amidst growing reports from the energy efficiency supply chain of delayed payments for work carried out under the ECO, which are causing major cash flow issues, the NIA is calling on Vince Cable and Ed Davey to intervene and arrange an urgent high level summit, involving energy companies, the energy efficiency industry and Ofgem to address the matter.

Neil Marshall the CEO of the NIA said: “There appear to be some fundamental issues with the ECO measures approval and payment processes which are resulting in major delays in payments to installers for works they have undertaken.  It is essential that the Government now intervenes and works with the energy companies, energy efficiency industry and Ofgem to address these issues.” 

He went on to say: “A new construction supply chain payment charter was introduced earlier in the year and consideration now needs to be given to introducing this or something similar to the ECO.”

Monday, 20 October 2014

The Chief Executive of the National Insulation Association urges the public to take heed and think insulation first during Big Energy Saving Week

Neil Marshall, NIA Chief Executive said:  “20-24 October is Big Energy Saving Week and will see numerous helpful facts given about saving costs on fuels bills. But we must stress that above all else, fitting adequate insulation first needs to be the priority. Doing so will enable householders to make major savings on their fuel bills year after year without even having to think about it.”

The amounts that can be saved on fuel bills are substantial:
  • Solid Wall Insulation will  save up to £460 per annum
  • Cavity Wall Insulation will save up to £250 per annum
  • The correct depth of Loft Insulation can save £250 per annum
  • Draught Proofing will provide  a yearly saving  of up to  £50
Marshall went on to voice his concerns over the millions of households that are yet to be properly insulated: “It is staggering that despite years of campaigning, and rising energy bills over 7 million solid walls and 5 million cavity walls still need insulating. There are also 7 million lofts that have inadequate insulation and are in need of topping up!”

The NIA is therefore urging householders to contact an NIA member to find out if their home requires insulation and to arrange a quotation.  Householders can be safe in the knowledge that an NIA installer will have signed up to a strict Code of Professional Practice, meaning peace of mind comes as standard with an NIA member.

To find a local NIA member householders should visit the NIA website

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

NIA welcomes additional £100m for household energy efficiency through Green Deal Home Improvement Fund but calls for further action to insulate the UK housing stock

The National Insulation Association (NIA) has welcomed today’s announcement by Government that an additional £100m will be provided to help fund energy efficiency improvements through the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) but is urging all political parties to go much further and commit to making Energy Efficiency Retrofit an Infrastructure Priority.

Neil Marshall, Chief Executive at the National Insulation Association said: “Following the significant reduction in insulation activity under ECO after cuts were announced by Government in July and the closure of the initial GDHIF after just 6 weeks, we have been urging Government to inject additional funding into the GDHIF this winter to help hard pressed households reduce their energy bills and stay warm. We are therefore delighted that Government has listened and responded by announcing an additional £100m today.

“However, whilst this will provide much needed short term relief, we need to go beyond short term, stop start schemes and incentives and put in place a long term plan and funding mechanism if we are to insulate the UK housing stock in a timely manner. With over 7 million homes having inadequate Loft Insulation, over 5 million that require Cavity Wall Insulation and almost 8 million homes that need Solid Wall Insulation we need to significantly strengthen energy efficiency policies and programmes.

“To this end the NIA is calling on all political parties to recognise that home energy efficiency needs to be defined as a National Infrastructure Priority with public investment to support the most vulnerable households and to create the confidence for the industry to scale up investment over the long term.”