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IME says ‘make insulation compulsory’

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ has published new report in which it calls for the UK Government to urgently introduce legislation for a national insulation programme to cover every UK home.
New legislation is needed to help the estimated 6.5 million UK homes in fuel poverty

The report Heat Energy: the Nation’s Forgotten Crisis states that all new and existing homes should have to meet national insulation standards.

This legislation would declare all UK building stock as ‘national infrastructure’ and provide incentives, such as a reduction in 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.

The report also calls for installers of energy demand reduction measures to be trained to meet a mandatory competence registration, similar to the CORGI certification / Gas Safe Register for gas installers.

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 countries domestic dwellings and the failure of successive Governments to take the meaningful action required on energy efficiency measures.

“Poorly insulated homes cost the NHS an estimated £1.36 billion every year, with one estimate placing 6.5 million UK homes in fuel poverty.

“In addition, 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.

“Incentives could include schemes such as enabling sellers to offset the cost of upgrading their insulation to national standards against the stamp duty payable on the sale of the home.

“Government should also recognise the importance of the installer community in achieving its energy security and decarbonisation goals for heat provision and introduce ‘free’ training alongside a new mandatory competence registration for installers of energy efficiency and sustainable supply systems. It also needs to ensure that heat infrastructure, in individual buildings through to large-scale District Heating networks, is co-ordinated and strategically managed.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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