Government climate change advisors have said that energy providers should be made to insulate every empty loft and cavity wall within the next four years in order to cut emissions.
The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) says forcing energy companies to insulate all empty lofts and cavity walls in the UK will help to cut carbon emissions in the country. The chief executive of the CCC, David Kennedy, said “The government should state this ambition and energy companies should be on the hook to deliver these emissions reductions”.
He said improving old homes could not only help to reduce household energy bills but would also play an important role in tackling global warming in the UK. However, he said there must be hard targets in place for the proposals to be effective.
Amazingly, there are still around 10 million (43%) lofts in the UK which haven’t been insulated. Not only that, but around 8 million houses have cavity walls which have not been insulated.
The director of Energy UK which represents the energy industry, Christine McGourty, said “Energy companies have already made a substantial contribution to improving people’s leaky homes. In the past few years, companies have insulated more than 1.5m cavity walls and more than 2m lofts, helping consumers save up to £260 a year on their bills”.
Surprisingly, loft insulations carried out by professionals fell in between 2009 and 2010 by 30%. Mr Kennedy thought this was likely to be because energy companies were incentivised to insulate a certain number of lofts or cavity walls and when this number had been reached they stopped.
In some ways it’s a strange concept trying to persuade energy companies to help their customers use less energy but Mr Kennedy said “It is very important that someone is on the hook. The experience over four decades is that the free market does not deliver home energy-efficiency measures”.
It may be the case that some home owners are insulating their own lofts – DIY stores have an array of loft insulation now and with rising gas and electricity prices people may be taking the matter into their own hands. However, there are many households who cannot afford to take action themselves and it’s these households which require help.