Industry offers cautious welcome to ‘Great British Insulation Scheme’  

Industry offers cautious welcome to ‘Great British Insulation Scheme’   

The Builders Merchants Federation and other industry names have given a ‘cautious welcome’ to Government plans to increase the energy efficiency of UK homes, confirmed as part of its net zero and energy security strategy, Powering Up Britain.

The Government’s previously announced ECO+ initiative, now rebranded as The Great British Insulation Scheme, is set to launch in Summer 2023 and run until March 2026. It is promised to provide £1bn over three years to upgrade 300,000 homes with an energy performance certificate of D or below and in the lower Council Tax bands (A-D in England, and A-E in Scotland and Wales).

BMF CEO John Newcomb said: “Of course, we welcome any scheme that aims to help householders with the cost of installing new home insulation. However, this is still a far cry from the benefits that would be afforded by a long-term National Retrofit Strategy to upgrade all 29 million homes in the UK that require improvement to reduce both energy bills and CO2 emissions.

“Government backing for this long-term plan would have the added benefit of creating up to 500,000 skilled jobs and we will continue to campaign for the adoption of the National Retrofit Strategy.”

In response to the plans, announced by Grant Shapps on the UK’s Energy Security Day, Worcester Bosch CEO Carl Arntzen said: “At Worcester Bosch we are passionate about creating and rolling out greener home heating solutions to help businesses, homeowners, residents, and our industry reduce our carbon footprint – and hit important net zero targets set by this Government.

“With this in mind, it is positive to see the Government announce The Great British Insulation Scheme, which brings new grants that could help approximately 80% of homes in low efficiency bands improve their property’s EPC rating. This is a welcome step towards preparing the UK’s housing stock for future greener heating solutions.”

He added: “It is also good to see the Government taking an agnostic approach when it comes to natural gas alternatives. The Boiler Upgrade Scheme’s two-year extension plus the confirmed investment into both UK manufacturing of heat pumps and green hydrogen production are all very welcome.

“It alludes to key decision makers now appreciating that to solve the tricky challenge of decarbonisation, there is no one silver bullet.”

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