NIA Backs Energy Company Obligation

8 November 2013

The National Insulation Association is putting its weight firmly behind the Government’s Energy Company Obligation, deeming the scheme the “key to lowering energy bills”.

Following news that British Gas has increased its prices alongside the likes of SSE, the Energy Company Obligation has taken a battering in Parliament and the news. But Neil Marshall, Chief Executive at National Insulation Association, is convinced that the scheme offers more benefits than detriments.

"Home insulation is the most cost effective way of saving on domestic energy bills,” Marshall explained.

“An astounding 59% of heat can be lost through uninsulated walls and roofs; but with the right measures put in place, householders could be making huge savings on their energy bills.”

The Energy Company Obligation offers low-income households and those living in hard-to-treat homes, the opportunity to install Cavity Wall Insulation, Solid Wall Insulation, and Loft Insulation for free, thanks to a grant subsidised by the major energy companies.

The thinking behind the scheme is to ensure that those living in fuel poverty – that is those that pay more than 10% of their income on fuel bills – are offered assistance to cut the cost of their bills. The scheme also assists those in “hard to treat” properties.

Without the scheme, Marshall argues that Britain would be a worse place to live.

"[The Energy Company Obligation] is the only scheme to ensure that those at risk and in fuel poverty receive energy efficiency measures thereby reducing cold related excess winter deaths, the security of energy supply and job creation. The ECO also contributes towards climate change targets.”

While the Government is mulling over watering down the scheme and/or shifting the cost to taxation, Marshall is calling for them to amend it and publicise it better.

"It is vitally important that rather than simply talking about the costs of green energy taxes, the public are made aware of the savings and huge benefits they provide.”

According to the National Insulation Association, installing Cavity Wall Insulation and Loft Insulation can save households up to £320 per year. The installation of Solid Wall Insulation and Loft Insulation can save £670.

The NIA is asking that delivery of the scheme is accelerated in order to better assist the millions of households with inadequate insulation. It is also asking for Local Authorities and Housing Associations to be incentivised to get involved with insulating properties.

Furthermore, Marshall and the NIA are asking that householders are also given incentives to make energy efficient home improvements, with a reduction in stamp duty and/or council tax being recommended.

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