One million UK properties can benefit from solid wall insulation under the Green Deal

Research has revealed that 12 percent of homes in England and Wales could benefit from Solid Wall Insulation (SWI) under the Green Deal’s ‘golden rule’. Insulation manufacturer Jablite commissioned the study into SWI and found that work could begin on around one million properties across England and Wales when the Green Deal is launched this October.  Of the million homes, 400,000 are estimated to be inhabited by people living in fuel-poverty.

Serrula Research, who undertook the study, also calculated that a further 1.8 million UK properties could be treated under the Green Deal with an ECO (Energy Company Obligation) subsidy of £2,000 or less per property.

Richard Lee, Managing Director of Jablite, said: “In total, Serrula found that there are 2.4 million dwellings that could be transformed using the Green Deal finance scheme with the support of an ECO subsidy of around £4.5 billion. This is a viable sum given that the Government has stated that 75 percent of the annual 1.3 billion ECO fund is to be used for SWI or hard-to-treat homes.

“We can see from Serrula’s research that the Green Deal really can deliver a national solid wall insulation programme to the UK – one that would cut the nation’s carbon emissions and substantially reduce fuel poverty. This is great news, but of course the key to success is ensuring the uptake of the opportunity by home owners and social housing providers.”

Humphry Smith, Managing Director of Serrula explained the research process: “We gathered information from a range of installers and system providers of solid wall insulation. Taking that data, we created a strong calculator that we could use on the data from the English Housing Survey (EHS) - one of the great pieces of non-physical infrastructure of our time! The accurate and up-to-date information in the EHS underpins our research.  We have been able to state short term targets for the Green Deal in the easier-to-treat homes that need no or a relatively small ECO subsidy.

“Our research-based assumption for the long term and for those harder-to-treat solid wall properties is that, as the market expands and develops, the costs will go down and make the treatment of those properties feasible within the Green Deal too.

“Our research shows that the ambitious energy reduction targets set by the Government – and in the impending European Directive - can be achieved within the Green Deal with the ECO subsidy.”

However, some green groups have expressed concerns about the uptake of the Green Deal. The Green Alliance recently published a report that warned Government that its current “dispersed communications” approach to the Green Deal would severely dampen demand.

Speaking to Green Wise, Faye Scott, Head of Research at Green Alliance said:  "There is a huge risk the Government’s current plans for communications won’t deliver the levels of public engagement and take up needed to make sure that schemes like the Green Deal are a success.”

The Green Deal is due to soft-launch in October this year. Government recently published a list of 20 prospective Green Deal providers and, despite calls otherwise, appears to be resolute about sticking to the scheduled launch.