NIA Leads Solid Wall Insulation Market Transformation

30 May 2013

With as many as nine million expected to be living in fuel poverty by 2016, the National Insulation Association (NIA) is turning to Solid Wall Insulation to ease the pressure.

The NIA – which represents the UK insulation market, including manufacturers, system designers, and installers – is currently working in conjunction with the Government to improve insulation and energy efficiency across the UK’s housing stock.

Under the Green Deal initiative and Energy Company Obligation (ECO), householders can apply for financial assistance to improve the energy efficiency of their property. The schemes – which were launched back in January – provide an upfront loan or grant to pay for home improvements such as boiler replacement, double glazing, Loft Insulation, and Solid Wall Insulation.

It is this last measure that the NIA is currently shepherding forward.

Solid Wall Insulation – also known as External Wall Insulation – is generally applied to houses built before 1924 and after 1984.

It is estimated that 35% of energy lost seeps through the walls. Solid Wall Insulation sees an additional layer of thermally insulated cladding applied to the external wall, reducing the amount of energy and heat lost through the wall.

It is estimated that as many as eight million homes in the UK could benefit from Solid Wall Insulation.

Neil Marshall, Chief Executive of the NIA, commented: "The NIA has a key role to play in supporting its members, Government and external stakeholders in bringing about the necessary market transformation and ensuring that consumers obtain the benefits provided by External Wall Insulation, including savings on their energy bills.”

The Energy Saving Trust estimates than an uninsulated three bedroom, gas-heated, semi-detached house could save as much as £490 per year.

In order to push Solid Wall Insulation forward, the NIA has created a stakeholder group to co-ordinate cross-sector delivery plans; formed a council of industry experts to focus on quality assurance and consumer protection; and worked with the Government to relax planning regulations, meaning most householders will no longer require planning permission to apply Solid Wall Insulation.

In addition, the NIA has initiated a series of briefing events and services aimed at providing advice and expertise to those that need it. This includes local authorities, housing associations, private landlords, energy suppliers, consumer groups, ECO and Green Deal installers, and the general public.

The NIA hopes that increased awareness of the benefits of Solid Wall Insulation will go a long way to improving energy efficiency in the UK and reducing the cost of rising energy bills.

Houses built between 1924 and 1984 can generally be improved with the addition of Cavity Wall Insulation.

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