Now that consultation on the Green Deal has come to an end, Knauf Insulation has lodged its formal response to the planned energy efficiency scheme – setting out alternative proposals that could extend the initiative to a further 1.5 million homes.
“Whilst we welcome the ambition to attract private finance into energy efficiency infrastructure, we have grave reservations about the current proposed delivery method, which could result in huge losses to the UK economy and thousands of potential job cuts,” commented John Sinfield, MD at Knauf Insulation.
“On the strength of this concern, we have commissioned research which provided significant results from Europe Economics that has enabled us to develop an alternative mechanism, which would de-risk the initiative, lower energy bills, further reduce CO2 emissions and include many more homes than the Government’s preferred scenario.”
Knauf Insulation’s proposals highlight shocking predictions set out in the Government’s own Impact Assessment (IA)1, which show a significant and almost immediate drop in installation rates for traditional loft and cavity wall insulation measures, as well as requiring installers to deliver a rapid ramp up of solid wall insulation where there is unproven householder demand and insufficient installer capacity.
Steven Heath, Director of External Affairs at Knauf Insulation, comments: “Under the current proposals thousands of quick-win insulation measures, such as loft and cavity walls, will remain unfilled – leaving the industry with no room for transition. Our proposed scenario, ECO Neutral, builds on research conducted by the UK Association for the Conservation of Energy2 and would see an increase in these installations, with a slightly decreased number of solid wall installations.
“This would mean up to 1.5 million more homes could benefit from additional insulation by 2022, with 2.5 million cavity walls achieved by 2017, more than 4 million loft installations and 1.17 million solid wall installations by 2022 – which is only a 20% reduction on the Government’s solid wall target.”
Knauf Insulation argues that ECO Neutral would result in £5 billion of net benefits to the UK economy relative to the Government’s proposed scenario, as well as 14 million tonnes of CO2 savings, which would reach Government policy targets in 2020 - a year ahead of the Government’s current schedule.
In addition to providing a smoother transition in installation industry employment, Knauf Insulation proposes that ECO Neutral would remove much of the risk from the Green Deal for the industry, Government and all energy bill payers, who will ultimately foot the costs.
1 Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation Impact Assessment, DECC
2 Dead CERT Paper – UK Association for the Conservation of Energy