Energy Efficiency

There are a range of policies driving energy efficiency deployment across the building stock in the UK.
Details on some of the key policies across the Devolved Administrations have been outlined below.

Funding / Energy Initiatives

In October 2021, the UK government set out its new “Net Zero Strategy: Build Back Greener.” This outlines proposals for decarbonising all sectors of the UK economy to meet its 2050 Net Zero target. An important part of these plans is the intention to improve the energy efficiency of housing stock. This aim is also the subject of the Heat and Buildings Strategy, published by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.

These and other documents consider the ways that various funding mechanisms can be used to deliver the necessary efficiency improvements, beginning with the fabric of buildings. At present, the most notable of these funding streams include:

  • The Energy Company Obligation (ECO)
  • The Green Homes Grant Scheme Local Authority Delivery (LAD)
  • The Home Upgrade Grant (HUG), worth an estimated £950 million between 2022-2025
  • The Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (£800 million)

Successfully implemented and funded, the resulting schemes could greatly reduce greenhouse emissions, create thousands of sustainable jobs, reduce energy bills and improve living conditions for literally millions of people.

“The journey to Net Zero buildings starts with better energy performance… Improving energy efficiency by adopting a fabric first approach is key in ensuring that the transition to low carbon heating is cost-effective and resilient.”

BEIS, Heat & Buildings StrategyThemeNectar


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Northern Ireland

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Funding Providers

The National Insulation Association is always keen to connect with organisations supporting energy efficiency deployment with our members. If you are interested in learning more, please get in touch.

Information for Consumers

The Green Homes Grant Voucher Scheme and the Green Deal were two of the best-known funding mechanisms designed to support domestic energy efficiency installations, especially insulation measures. Both have now closed, meaning householders cannot currently apply for support via any consumer-focused national funding scheme. If any new schemes are launched, we will announce them here.

However, for householders, it is still often worth making enquiries with the local authority. Local councils may have funding support available that can help with the costs of installing one or more energy efficiency measures.

Information for Landlords

Government policy and legislation have increasingly sought to drive greater energy efficiency in the private rental sector. In England and Wales, for example, rented residential properties must have an energy efficiency certificate rating of E or better. Moreover, there are proposals (not yet ratified) to raise the threshold to band C for new tenancies by 2025.

The Government’s Heat and Buildings Strategy 2021 does not offer clear advice as to what funding support is available to private residential landlords, though they should be eligible to apply for support with replacing gas boilers with low-carbon systems such as heat pumps.


Cladding Remediation Fund

The Grenfell Tower tragedy of 2017 prompted a thorough re-examination of fire safety in high-rise buildings in the UK. That re-examination revealed significant failings in the way that certain products and systems were specified and certified. It also demonstrated a clear need to replace potentially dangerous cladding systems with products that can be proven to be fire safe.

In May 2021, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government updated its guidance on the Private Sector ACM Cladding Remediation Fund.  This is designed “to cover all reasonable costs for the remediation of unsafe ACM cladding on residential buildings over 18m in height (or within the 30cm tolerance) and in private ownership.” Further, it is “available for the benefit of leaseholders in residential (high-rise) buildings… who would otherwise have an obligation to meet the cost of cladding remediation by virtue of provisions in their leases.” The Government estimates total costs at around £200 million.

On 16 July 2021, the House of Commons Library published a research briefing titled “Leasehold high-rise flats: who pays for fire safety work?” This estimates the full cost of fire safety remediation work on all affected blocks at £15 billion, and notes that “government funding announced to date amounts to £5.1 billion.” The full report (PDF format) can be downloaded here.


Building Regulations

The UK Building Regulations are statutory regulations that define how legal requirements are delivered in practice. Compliance with the regulations is required for most forms of building work in the UK. This includes insulation and other energy efficiency measures, whether new build or retro-fitted.


Quality Standards: The Route to PAS Accreditation

For details of the PAS standards and how they are applied, please see our ‘Why Use an NIA Member?’ page and the section on Quality Standards. All NIA members should be able to operate in compliance with the PAS standards and should either be already certified or working towards certification.

Trustmark notes that “If you install energy efficiency measures under any of the government-supported initiatives such as Energy Company Obligation (ECO), you must be certified to install the measures against the Publicly Available Specifications (PAS) standards 2030 by a certification body that has been accredited by UKAS.”


The following links explain the PAS certification process:

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