Housing: Insulation

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 6th November 2018.

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Photo of Alex Norris Alex Norris Labour/Co-operative, Nottingham North

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what support his Department is providing to improve energy usage through better domestic insulation.

Photo of Claire Perry Claire Perry The Minister of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)

Last year, the Government published the Clean Growth Strategy which set out our aspiration that as many homes as possible will be upgraded to an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Band C by 2035, where practical, cost-effective and affordable. A number of policies have been put in place to help drive domestic insulation including:

- The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme which requires obligated energy suppliers to install energy efficiency and heating measures to people’s homes in England, Scotland and Wales. ECO is funded at £640 million per annum (2017 prices, rising with inflation), and we are taking steps to focus that scheme on those in fuel poverty. The Clean Growth Strategy announced that we would extend support for home energy efficiency out to 2028 at least at the current level of ECO funding.

- The Private Rented Sector Minimum standard regulations which were introduced on 1st April 2018 and require landlords to bring their properties to EPC Band E or above; or register an exemption, if one applies. We have recently announced that we will be strengthening those regulations further to require a contribution of up to £3,500 from landlords towards the cost of improvements.

- Six local supply chain demonstration projects which are about to be launched across the country. They will focus on reducing the cost for retrofit and building supply chain capacity whilst also addressing the non-financial barriers to deeper retrofit, such as supply chain fragmentation and the high hassle costs of installing measures.

- The Simple Energy Advice Service, which was launched as part of Green Great Britain Week. The new digitally-led service provides impartial and tailored advice on how homeowners can cut energy bills and make their homes greener. Individuals can also find out which insulation measure best suits their home, how much they could save and what governmental financial support is available.

- The BEIS Thermal Efficiency Innovation Fund which awarded organisations £7.5m grant funding to develop technologies and approaches to improve the energy efficiency of existing UK (domestic and commercial) buildings in summer 2018. Funded project activities include piloting approaches to optimising the specification and performance of domestic insulation measures, and the development of innovative insulation materials and processes to reduce the installation costs of measures.

- The launch of a new quality mark for home energy improvements following the independent Each Home Counts review to help provide greater consumer confidence in the quality of installations.

We also committed in the Clean Growth Strategy to bring forward further measures in the future, including our intention to consult on making improvements to Building Regulations, and to look at a long-term trajectory for energy performance standards in the rented sector, with a view to as many rented homes as possible reaching EPC Band C by 2030.

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