As energy bills continue to soar for millions of Britons due to the skyrocketing global cost of gas, alternative methods of keeping homes warm could prove vital. This is why the government is reportedly looking to provide insulation to thousands of homes before winter through a massive £1billion investment which will be funded by diverting money from existing schemes.
David Weatherall, a consultant for BRE, told Express.co.uk: “We warmly welcome the plan to invest in energy savings in homes and support the approach the government is considering taking – by increasing the scale of the energy companies’ existing obligation program that has been operating successfully for many years.
And he pointed out that the lifeline’s huge insulation could put households facing sky-high bill increases.
Mr Weatherall said: ‘The Energy Saving Trust estimates that just insulating the walls of a detached house will save £430-650 a year.
“And if the roofs, floors and windows are insulated at the same time, the savings will obviously be greater.
“Some families have a greater need for heating – for example, older people are often home all day, and people with health conditions may need to keep their homes particularly warm.
“The more heating a family needs, the more it will benefit from insulation.”
It comes after industry regulator Ofgem announced the price cap (maximum annual fee) is set to rise to £2,800 in April.
It could push millions more Britons into fuel poverty at a time when inflation is at record highs, triggering a cost of living crisis.
This is why it is crucial that the government provide assistance to help the poorest households insulate their homes.
Mr Weatherall said: ‘The upfront costs of insulation – although saving money from day one on energy bills – can put it out of reach for low-income households.
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“That’s why it’s important for the government to provide support for the initial costs.”
He explained: “The Energy Saving Trust say costs can be up to £650 for loft/roof insulation.
“For houses, a key factor is the construction of the walls: many houses built between around 1920 and 1990 still have uninsulated cavity walls that can be filled with insulation relatively easily and cheaply.
“Older houses built before around 1920 have solid walls where the insulation has to be attached to the inside or outside of the wall – this is a more expensive process, usually costing several thousand pounds, but which allows you to make significant savings on bills.
“A lot of heat is lost through windows and double glazing is a type of insulation. Rare are the houses that today have entirely single glazing. It is a good idea to check that all windows, whether single or double glazed, are working properly and have no drafts.
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“For homes that still have single glazing, if double glazing is too expensive, installing secondary glazing inside window frames can be a good step to reduce heat loss and bills. “
The proposed scheme for insulation has been dubbed the ‘Great British Insulation Scheme’, and will see the government complete the ‘Energy Company Obligation’.
This sum is deducted from bills and used to finance energy efficiency measures for the poorest households.
The program could be expanded to support more households, even in the middle income bracket, if people are willing to contribute.
And while BRE welcomes the government’s announcement, Mr Weatherall warned: ‘But we don’t think this should be funded by cutting other energy-saving programs that are having a positive impact.’