Britons divided over Government support for home insulation

UK government releases new energy saving advert

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The cost of insulating the average UK home with cavity wall and loft insulation has increased by more than 50 percent in the last year. However, a new poll of Express.co.uk readers has split opinions on whether the UK Government should help everyone with funds for their home insulation and improve energy efficiency.

Research by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) shows the price of insulation materials has increased by 51 percent in the year to October 2022. The rise has been linked to general price rises with inflation, material and labour shortages from the pandemic, Brexit, and the war in Ukraine.

Separate data from the BEIS reveals the price of low-cost cavity wall insulation in the typical UK home in the last five years has increased by 77 percent to £480 while high-cost cavity walls have risen by 76 percent to £2,995. Loft insulation has also risen by 78 percent to £285.

From the spring, households in some council tax bands can claim a grant of up to £2,000 to help with energy bills under the Eco+ scheme to help cover the cost of energy-efficient home improvements. The Government plans to run the scheme until March 2026, with beneficiaries saving around £310 a year on energy bills.

Eligible groups include those in council tax bands A-D in England, A-E in Scotland and A-C in Wales. While those living in homes with energy performance certificates of D to G can also claim if they receive a means-tested benefit, occupy social housing or live in “fuel poverty”.

A BEIS spokesperson said: “Improving the energy efficiency of homes is important to tackling fuel poverty and reducing emissions, and that’s why we’ve committed £6.6billion this parliament and a further £6billion to 2028 to make buildings more energy-efficient.

“The Energy Company Obligation scheme alone has delivered improvements to around 2.4 million homes, and just last month we launched our £1billion Eco+ scheme to accelerate these efforts, installing measures in households who have previously not been able to access Eco support.”

In a poll that ran from 1.15pm on Thursday, December 29, to 9.45am on Wednesday, January 4, Express.co.uk asked readers: “Should the Government help fund everyone with home insulation?”

Overall, 1,474 people responded, and readers were divided on the matter with 50 percent (734 people) answering “no” while 49 percent (720 people) said “yes” they should.

Whereas, a further one percent (20 people) said they did not know either way.

Dozens of comments were left below the accompanying article as readers shared their thoughts on home insulation.

Some argued against the suggestion, saying it was not practical for everyone. Username Biwlsman said: “Most of the houses concerned can’t benefit from most insulation.”

Username Justme.74 said: “Absolutely not. Not every home is right for insulation. Loans may be an appropriate way to go, and new builds should be fitted with all insulation requirements. Retro fitting should be done by the owner and/or landlord.

Username Babyboomer added: “No. Fund it yourself if you decide you need or want it.”

And username myroelad wrote: “No way. I did my loft insulation myself some time ago. Before this high cost of energy came.”

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Another, username Gilli Pepper, commented in support of Government grants, writing: “Do a grant to help people but taxpayers don’t have to foot the bill.”

Meanwhile, other readers thought the scheme would be beneficial like username Rolo Tomassi, who said: “Taxpayers are currently funding part of everyone’s energy bills. This may be a better way to spend that money.”

Username Dave1w wrote: “As an effort to reduce the nation’s reliance on the finite amount of gas available, and the huge cost to the economy of high gas prices, I think it should be looked at.”

And username gunnar added: “It would certainly be in the nation’s interest.”

The UK’s 28.6 million homes are among the least energy efficient in Europe, losing heat up to three times faster than others on the continent. This suggests that investment in energy efficiency and insulation is vital to reducing energy bills.

However, research by the Univerity of Cambridge, published in Energy Economics found that the long-term effect of insulation was negligible, with all energy savings vanishing by the fourth year.

Study co-author Professor Laura Diaz Anadon said: “The recent spotlight on increasing the energy efficiency in UK buildings is both welcome and long overdue, and there are very real benefits to households from good insulation, not least in terms of health and comfort.

“However, home insulation alone is not a magic bullet. In the long term, simply funding more of the same insulation roll-out to meet the UK’s carbon reduction and energy security targets may not move the dial as much as is hoped.”

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