Knauf Insulation has welcomed the findings of the Jobs, Growth and Warmer Homes report, published today by Consumer Focus, which shows that investing funds raised from carbon taxes into widespread energy efficiency measures would deliver a major boost to the UK’s economy.
However, the manufacturer is concerned that the Government’s implementation of the Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation (ECO) seriously undermines a central argument in the report – that the energy efficiency and construction industry is ‘shovel ready’ and able to roll out large scale investment quickly. Without a transition mechanism between the Government’s current and planned energy efficiency schemes, the insulation industry’s ability to deliver on this front will be gravely compromised.
The delayed implementation of the Green Deal and the time it will take for companies to be able to roll out solid wall schemes on-site funded by the ECO, will result in a catastrophic drop in work from 1st January 2013 and dramatically fewer insulation installations in 2013 – resulting in 16,000 job losses, primarily within the loft and cavity wall insulation industry.
The success of the Green Deal will then be at serious risk, with a direct impact on the Government’s carbon budgets and fuel poverty targets, as well as its ambitions to retrofit the UK’s housing stock.
John Sinfield Managing Director of Knauf Insulation Northern Europe, said: “We are encouraged by the findings of the Jobs, Growth and Warmer Homes report, but it ignores the fact that unless swift action is taken, the insulation industry is about to fall off a cliff in 2013. The policy by the current Government risks destroying businesses, putting 16,000 people out of work and undermining the Coalition’s green ambitions for the country.
“The findings of this report present a huge opportunity to encourage UK growth – if the transition is managed properly. We are therefore calling on the Secretary of State to recognise the scale of the problem that is about to hit our industry and develop a set of measures to address the insulation gap and implement a suitable solution.”
The report – which was created in partnership with the Energy Bill Revolution, a coalition of organisations that campaign for better energy efficiency investment – argues that a proportion of funds generated by carbon taxes, should be used for targeted energy efficiency schemes. It shows that nine out of 10 households could be lifted out of fuel poverty and household bills on treated homes could be reduced by at least £200 per year, as well as stimulating significant economic growth throughout the country.
For more information about Knauf Insulation please visit www.knaufinsulation.co.uk