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Report claims cavity wall industry suffering due to Green Deal

By Katie Anderson on May 31, 2013

Raising doubts over the efficacy of the Coalition’s green policy, the Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency (CIGA) has claimed that installations of cavity wall insulation in the UK have decreased by 97 per cent since the launch of the Green Deal.

Billed as the policy that would make the current government the ‘greenest of all’, the Green Deal was launched on January 28 to a lukewarm reception. Not everyone understood the policy and not all who did saw value in attaching high-interest debt to property at a time when house prices in the UK were stifled by ailing economic conditions.

The report by CIGA appears to confirm what many sceptics had said all along: that the Green Deal has the potential to limit green investment rather than encourage it.

CIGA claims that just 1,138 installations of cavity wall insulation were carried out in April this year compared to 49,650 in the same month in 2012. The government had been aware that the Green Deal would produce such an outcome, largely because previous carbon-saving schemes made cavity wall insulation free to thousands of households, but it had not prepared for a 97 per cent reduction. Last year, government analysts predicted that the Green Deal would result in a 67 per cent drop in cavity wall insulations.

Shadow Minister for Climate Change Luciana Berger described the effects of the Green Deal on the British economy as ‘disastrous’. She added that hundreds of small firms had been affected by the policy, which has caused a “staggering collapse” in the number of cavity wall insulations.

Berger also pointed out that just under six million domestic properties in the UK are in need of cavity wall insulation, so now is hardly the time for government policy to bring such installations to an end. The impact of the Green Deal could also have an adverse effect on climate change. The UK has an obligation to reduce carbon emissions by 2020, but to achieve its target at least 1.4 million homes need to be fitted with cavity wall insulation.

The report by CIGA does not cover loft insulation, of which installations are predicted to fall by 93 per cent.