Insulation Boost as 99% of Energy Efficiency Targets Met

1 May 2013

More than six million UK homes have been retrofitted with improved insulation as part of Government schemes, a recent report shows.

The news comes as it was announced that energy companies met 99% of targets set out by the Government in a bid to reduce carbon emissions.

Energy Efficiency Through Insulation

Following the Climate Change Act 2008, the Department of Energy and Climate Chance (DECC) initiated two schemes to lower carbon emissions.

The first of these, the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) was launched in 2008 to replace the Energy Efficiency Commitment (EEC). Under the scheme, energy companies were obliged to install Loft Insulation in 3.9 million homes and Cavity Wall Insulation into another 2.5 million.

The second scheme, the Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP) focused on providing 150,000 energy efficient measures to vulnerable households, including low income homes. The scheme was responsible for the installation of External Wall Insulation in 75,000 properties.

As a whole, both schemes focused on a number of energy efficiency measures in addition to insulation, including lighting, heating, appliances, and behavioural activity.

Both schemes officially ended on 31st December 2012.

Government Findings

Ofgem’s latest report shows that 99% of targets were met under the schemes.

Several energy suppliers actually hit more than 100% of their targets, and the total target was exceeded. However, because six suppliers failed to hit all of their individual targets, the scheme was not considered 100% successful.

Sarah Harrison, Ofgem’s senior partner in charge of enforcement, commented: “At a time of rising energy bills, energy efficiency can make a big difference for consumers. The fact that the industry has delivered 99% of its government energy efficiency targets is to be welcomed.

“However, Ofgem’s role is to ensure that consumers do not lose out by the failure of firms to deliver all the help required or are not disadvantaged by late delivery. This is why Ofgem is today launching investigations into six firms who have failed one or more of their energy efficiency targets set by government.”

66% of all carbon savings were a result of insulation. Campaigns to install Cavity Wall Insulation, Loft Insulation, and External Wall Insulation picked up a lot of steam in years four and five as energy companies attempted to meet their quota.

Energy efficient lighting was the second biggest saver, being responsible for 17% of carbon savings, followed by improved heating (8%) and modernised appliances (6%).

British Gas and SSE were the only two of the ‘Big Six’ which failed to meet their insulation targets, registering 95.5% and 99.9% respectively.

The Next Step

The CERT and CESP schemes were only the first steps in the Government’s bid to cut carbon emissions by 80% by 2050.

In January, DECC launched the Green Deal to further improve the energy efficiency of Britain’s property stock. Under the scheme, improvements such as Cavity Wall Insulation, External Wall Insulation, and Loft Insulation are being promoted to cut fuel bills and lower carbon emissions.

The Government believes that eight million homes in the UK can benefit from External Wall Insulation, six million from Cavity Wall Insulation, and 5.5 million from Loft Insulation. The Green Deal offers a financial solution to cover the upfront cost of these measures.

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