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Greg Barker – Head in the lofts?

On July 2 2012, Greg Barker claimed that all lofts had been or were soon to be insulated:

“We are certainly on the verge of declaring victory in filling treatable lofts. We now anticipate, when we finish at the end of this year, that only around 1% of treatable lofts in the UK will remain to be filled….We have filled the finite number of treatable lofts.”[1]

Mr Barker’s statement is highly misleading. According to the latest figures released by his own Department last month, just 62% of homes have received sufficient loft insulation [2].

His Department’s view is that homes with less than 125mm of loft insulation would “expect to see significant improvements in energy efficiency from a top-up.” Even this 125mm threshold is relatively unambitious; as stated by DECC, current Building Regulations require a standard “which would typically be achieved with 300mm of loft insulation”.

DECC’s figures show that 8.9m homes in Britain could currently see significant improvements in energy efficiency through additional loft insulation. In the industry’s view by the end of this year the figure might fall to between 6.8 and 7.5m, meaning that 30-32% of treatable lofts will remain to be filled. Even DECC’s own grossly underestimated figure of 5.7m still requiring insulation after CERT and CESP are completed (more on this estimate in the accompanying briefing paper) would mean that 24% of homes with lofts would expect to see significant improvements in energy efficiency from insulation. Whichever way you look at it, there can be no justification for asserting that in 2013 “1% of treatable lofts in the UK will remain to be filled”.

For more on the fiasco of official estimates of remaining loft insulation potential, and definitive clarity on the matter, please see our briefing:


[1] 2nd July 2012, Delegated Legislation Committee Debate, Draft Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme (Amendment) Regulations 2012 Draft Green Deal (Energy Efficiency Improvements) Order 2012 Draft Green Deal Framework (Disclosure, Aknowledgment, Redress Etc.) Regulations 2012 Draft Green Deal (Qualifying Energy Improvements) Order 2012 Draft Electricity and Gas (Energy Company Obligation) Order; 2012 http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmgeneral/deleg2/120702/120702s01.htm

[2] DECC, June 2012, Revised estimates of Home Insulation Levels in Great Britain: April 2012; http://www.decc.gov.uk/assets/decc/11/stats/energy/energy-efficiency/5457-stats-release-estimates-home-ins-apr2012.pdf

Last Updated (Thursday, 13 September 2012)

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