Press Release:
NIA responds to Government's announcement on Green Levies and Energy Bills

Release Date 02 December 2013

In response to the Government's announcement this morning on green levies and energy bills, Neil Marshall Chief Executive of the National Insulation Association (NIA) commented: "Whilst we will await fuller and better particulars on the details of the changes to the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and the new Government funded schemes before responding more fully, we have a number of initial comments:

- The ECO is the primary Government policy to reduce energy bills though energy efficiency and provide direct support to low in come and fuel poor households. We would therefore have concerns about any cuts to the scheme and the impact this could have on consumers and jobs in the industry.

There are still some 7m solid walls, 5m cavity walls and 7m lofts that need insulating and we should be strengthening energy efficiency programmes and accelerating the pace of delivery not making cuts as insulation is the only sure way to reduce energy bills long term - we have requested details from Government of the impact these changes will have on the number of insulation measures installed and households that will be helped and will comment further when received.

- We do however; have some serious concerns about the proposal to cut the amount of Solid Wall Insulation in ECO from around 65,000 installations a year to just 25,000 a year under the revised ECO proposals. Half of those households in fuel poverty live in properties with solid walls and therefore this cut could have a very serious impact on those households in the greatest need of help – Solid wall insulation can save up to £490* per year on fuel bills – we would urge Government to reconsider this.

- The new £540m schemes being proposed by Government alongside the changes to ECO are a positive step and have the potential to significantly increase the number of households receiving energy efficiency measures if they are correctly designed to maximise consumer uptake – we urge Government to involve our industry in the design of these schemes to ensure they deliver maximum 'bang for the buck'.

- Delays and uncertainty whilst Government consults on any changes could result in a lack of activity and projects being put on hold or worse still cancelled - we therefore urge Government to finalise and implement any changes as quickly as possible and ensure that appropriate measures are put in place to maintain momentum in insulation activity during the transitional period."

For more information contact Duncan Murray at the NIA press office on 01327 227 010 or email Duncan@evolution-pr.co.uk

* Based on a typical three-bedroom semi-detached gas heated home - figures from the Energy Saving Trust.

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