Loft Insulation Helps To Reduce Scottish Fuel Poverty

10 December 2013

Loft Insulation has helped to reduce the number of Scottish homes in fuel poverty, the latest official figures reveal.

The Scottish House Condition Survey for 2012 shows that the number of Scottish homes in fuel poverty has dropped by 74,000 compared to a year ago.

The figure for 2012 stands at 647,000 compared to 721,000 in 2011.

Loft Insulation, the survey goes on to reveal, has played a major role in this drop-off thanks to energy efficiency initiatives being carried out to reduce carbon emissions and plug leaky homes.

According to the survey, the number of properties with no Loft Insulation fitted has fallen from 49,000 to 21,000 over the past two years. It is estimated that just 2% of Scotland’s homes are now without any level of Loft Insulation while 88% have insulation at least 100mm thick.

But initial installation of Loft Insulation isn’t the only measure benefiting homes in Scotland. The survey shows that insulation top-ups are also making a big difference when it comes to conserving energy.

In 2010 just 30% of homes were fitted with 200mm deep Loft Insulation. That figure rose to 35% in 2011 and 37% in 2012.

In 2010 just 5% of homes were fitted with 300mm deep Loft Insulation. That figure rose to 10% in 2011 and 17% in 2012. This includes levels of 16% in private housing and 21% in social housing.

One of the reasons for the increase in Loft Insulation is Government schemes aimed at reducing carbon emissions and improving the energy efficiency of homes. In 2011 and 2012, the Community Energy Saving Programme and Carbon Emissions Reduction Target focused on installing insulation, particularly in ‘at risk’ properties. In 2013, the Energy Company Obligation and Green Deal have taken up the charge.

This increase in insulation has had an impact on energy efficiency in Scotland. In 2012, the most common band featured on an Energy Performance Certificate was ‘C’, marking the first time in nearly a decade that ‘D’ hadn’t been the most common band.

According to the report that accompanied the survey, “installing or upgrading insulation is one of the most effective ways to improve the energy efficiency of a building.” That has been demonstrated by the improved EPC banding.

However, despite fuel poverty levels falling, there is still much work to be done. An estimated 216,000 properties could benefit from having Loft Insulation retrofitted, while 170,000 properties – about 7.1% of all Scottish homes – are considered to be in extreme fuel poverty.

The Government hopes that recent changes to the Energy Company Obligation and Green Deal will help bring this number down.

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