News story

Brits insulate for winter as Huhne turns up heat on 'Big 6'

Almost 300,000 insulation measures such as loft and cavity wall insulation have been installed in British homes over the past three months, …

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Almost 300,000 insulation measures such as loft and cavity wall insulation have been installed in British homes over the past three months, new figures published today reveal.

This brings the total number of British homes that have adequate loft insulation to 58% and cavity wall insulation present in 58% of homes with cavities.

Energy bills can be cut by more than £100 a year if adequate levels of loft and cavity wall insulation are installed.

But Energy and Climate Change Secretary The Rt Hon Chris Huhne MP has also today warned the ‘Big 6’ energy suppliers that they are at risk of missing the Government’s tough home energy efficiency targets and need to double their insulation rates.

With winter approaching and bills set to increase The Rt Hon Chris Huhne MP said:

“More and more people realise that insulation can save you money and make your home cosier.

“More than £100 can be knocked off your bill if you get your loft lagged and cavity walls filled and thanks to tough government targets for the Big 6 energy companies, consumers can get free or discounted insulation.

“People should call the Energy Saving Trust for advice on how they can save money on their bills and protect themselves from rising energy prices.

“But these stats also show that energy companies need to pull their finger out and get on with offering even more energy saving help to British households. The companies have made good progress to date and we want them to succeed, but they are going to have to accelerate their lagging rates if they’re each going to hit their targets by the end of the next year.”

Energy companies were told by the Coalition in July 2010 to increase the help they make available to people to insulate their homes. Around 3.5 million homes are set to benefit by December 2012 as a result of the tougher Carbon Emissions Reduction Target.

It is estimated that companies will have to double their monthly professionally installed insulation rate from the average 100,000 a month seen since last year to some 200,000 if they are to meet the insulation target.

And to make sure the target to help those at most risk of fuel poverty is met (the Super Priority Group), companies will have to increase the rate from an average 5,000 installations a month to 18,000 a month.

Today’s statistics show that as part of the CERT scheme, there has been:

  • A 21% increase in the number of professionally installed insulation compared with the same quarter last year.
  • 13% more DIY loft insulation installed compared with the same quarter last year.

People wanting advice on insulating their homes should call the Energy Saving Trust on 0800 512 012 to find out about the latest local offers on insulation that are available.

Notes for editors

  1. CERT requires energy suppliers to meet a carbon emission reduction target of 293 milllion lifetime tonnes of CO2 by December 2012. This was increased from 185 MtCO2 by March 2011 by the Coalition in July 2010. The latest quarterly statistics, published by Ofgem, can be viewed on the Ofgem: CERT update web page.
  2. DECC’s latest national insulation statistics can be viewed on our Energy efficiency statistics web page.
  3. At least two thirds of the increase in the CERT target (68%) must be delivered through professionally installed insulation measures and suppliers are required to meet no less than 40% of their total target by delivering measures to a ‘Priority Group’ of vulnerable and low-income households, including those in receipt of eligible benefits and pensioners over the age of 70.
  4. The Coalition announced last year an additional target to require that 15% of the savings be achieved in a subset of low income households (a Super Priority Group) considered to be at high risk of fuel poverty.
  5. In August 2011 Ofgem said that energy suppliers will need to “pick up their activity levels…if they are to comply with their new extension obligations” - the Insulation Obligation and Super Priority Group obligation. The review of the third year of CERT can be found on the Ofgem: Energy efficiency web pages.
  6. Failing to meet the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target places an energy supplier at risk of being fined by Ofgem up to 10% of their global turnover.

Updates to this page

Published 7 September 2011