Knauf Insulation welcomes the move by Government to hold an energy bill summit with the six major energy suppliers to address rising consumer utility costs, and calls for the talks to include further action to increase homeowner awareness of the need to effectively insulate homes - to help further with energy savings and heating bills.
Upgrading the thermal efficiency of properties through loft or cavity wall insulation is one of the easiest and cheapest means of reducing energy use and heating bills. Cavity wall insulation can save a home up to £135 a year and 550kg of CO2, whilst installing up to 270mm of loft insulation in an uninsulated loft can save up to £175 and around 720kg CO2 a year *.
Despite the substantial savings available, public awareness of the benefits of insulating a home in the first instance, remain low. Indeed, to optimise the potential efficiencies of any other method - be it a new boiler or thermostats, new windows or utilising renewable energy sources - any building must first be properly insulated, through effective roof and cavity wall insulation.
Currently, the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) places a legal obligation on energy companies to deliver a reduction in CO2 emissions. To do this, they subsidise and promote a number of measures to reduce the cost of home insulation, or face an exceedingly hefty fine. CERT is due to finish at the end of 2012 however, and is to be replaced by the Green Deal and ECO, which without additional incentives to drive consumer take-up, has the potential to result in a significant fall in insulation upgrades.
John Sinfield, managing director of Knauf Insulation said: “Knauf Insulation has analysed this impact on the market of CERT being replaced and forecasts a drop-off in insulation up-grades, meaning lost carbon savings for Government, and more importantly in these times of increasing energy costs, lost ‘cash’ savings for homeowners. Therefore, further action is essential to ensure homeowners take up the opportunities to insulate their homes simply and cheaply.”
* Figures from Energy Saving Trust October 2011