The UK’s insulation industry is warning that the slow start to the government’s flagship Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is putting 16,000 jobs at risk.
In an open letter to Energy Secretary Ed Davey, a coalition of installers, contractors and manufacturers representing over 70% of the UK’s £700 million insulation industry, says that the time lapse between the end of existing subsidy schemes for loft, cavity and solid wall insulation and the start of the new initiatives is to blame.
Current schemes like the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) and the Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP) will come to an end this year, while the Green Deal and ECO will not be fully underway until early next year.
The gap will put 45% of jobs in the insulation industry in jeopardy over the next year. The lack of transition planning will also limit investment and job creation in the much-needed solid wall insulation sector.
“The loft and cavity wall insulation installation industry will fall off a cliff in 2013,” says John Sinfield of Knauf Insulation and spokesperson for the Insulation Industry Forum. “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 industry is calling on the Energy Secretary to recognise the problem and implement measures to bridge the insulation gap.
The letter quotes the government’s own figures, which indicate that the while the Green Deal and ECO mechanisms get going there will be an 87.5% drop in the loft insulation market and a 57% drop in the cavity wall insulation market.
According to the government’s own estimates, over 8 million UK homes need to top up their loft insulation to meet current recommendations and 6 million need to install cavity wall insulation.
Consumer organisation Which? says the warning is a cause for worry.
“Consumers tell us that rising energy prices are one of their biggest concerns. Lagging lofts and filling draughty cavity walls are relatively straightforward and low cost ways to reduce bills… the government must ensure that support is available to get these jobs done.”
For further information:
Birmingham appoints Carillion Energy to deliver Green Deal (9-Oct)
UK government’s Green Deal officially gets off the ground (2-Oct)
Seven cities in England to share £12 million to kick start Green Deal (21-Sept)
UK home insulation levels making slow progress (8-Mar)
11 October 2012