Legislation for a National Insulation Programme

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A new report published by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers calls on the government to introduce legislation for a national insulation programme covering every home in the UK.

The report, ‘Heat Energy: The Nation’s Forgotten Crisis’ recommends that the government carries out the following:

  1. Declare all UK building stock ‘national infrastructure’ and instigate a legislatively driven insulation programme, providing incentives such as reducing stamp duty for homeowners to install insulation to national standards. For those who cannot afford to pay, a national scheme to cover the cost of work would be funded by general taxation.
  2. Recognise the key role of the installer community and instigate a mandatory national installer ‘sustainable heat’ certification scheme, similar to the CORGI certification / Gas Safe Register for gas installers.
  3. Tackle the provision of larger pieces of national heat infrastructure, as well as the interconnection and integration of heat systems with other energy networks.

Dr Tim Fox, lead author of the report and Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, said: “The UK’s housing stock is some of the most poorly insulated in the developed world, largely because of the age of much of the country’s domestic dwellings and the failure of successive Governments to take the meaningful action required on energy efficiency measures.”

He added, “The amount of money and fuel that is wasted on heating poorly insulated homes is appalling, and the UK is facing a future of depleting UK gas reserves. It is clear that it is time for urgent action to improve energy efficiency in UK homes.”

Earlier this year, new ‘Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards’ legislation being introduced by the Government would make it against the law for private landlords in England and Wales to rent out inefficient properties. Landlords will be required to upgrade the energy efficiency in all of their properties which currently have an EPC [Energy Performance Certificate] rating of ‘F’ or ‘G’ to a minimum of an ‘E’ rating by 1 April 2018. However, the proposals by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers go far beyond that.

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