John Sinfield: The loft and cavity wall insulation installation industry will fall off a cliff in 2013.

IIF warns of 16 000 job losses in insulation industry

Published:  11 October, 2012

UK: A coalition from the Insulation Industry Forum, representing over 70% of the UK's £700m insulation industry, has written to DECC Secretary of State Ed Davey MP to warn that 16 000 jobs are under threat in the next year - based on his Department's own figures.

DECC's figures indicate an 87.5% reduction in the loft insulation market, 57% reduction in the cavity wall insulation market and 16% drop in the solid wall insulation market.

The losses come from the gap between the ending of the existing subsidy schemes for cavity wall solid wall and loft insulation, and the Green Deal and ECO becoming fully functional.

This will seriously impact on the continuity of work and number of cavity wall, loft insulation and solid wall jobs undertaken from the 1 January 2013.

As a result of this gap, 16 000 (45%) of jobs in the insulation industry, the majority of which will be in loft insulation and cavity wall insulation will be lost in 2013.

The lack of any transition planning will also stifle and restrict investment and job creation in solid wall insulation which is necessary to transform the market in order to meet Government carbon targets.

The IIF predicts that the closure of loft and cavity wall insulation manufacturing plants and loft and cavity wall insulation installation contractors going out of business, with employee numbers reduced by 45% from 36 000 to 20 000 in 2013.

This will be combined with a lack of capability for the insulation installation industry to develop the training programmes and capacity necessary to deliver the ambitions for solid wall insulation market transformation.

IIF spokesperson, John Sinfield, managing director of Knauf Insulation, said: "The loft and cavity wall insulation installation industry will fall off a cliff in 2013. The policy by the current Government risks destroying businesses, putting 16000 people out of work and undermining the Coalition's green ambitions for the country.

"It will result in a lack of continuity of work from 1 January 2013 and dramatically fewer insulation installations in 2013 - we predict 16 000 job losses, many of them before Christmas.

"We are calling on the Secretary of State to recognise the scale of the problem that is about to hit our industry and develop a set of measures to address the insulation gap and implement a suitable solution".

Supporting the forum, Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, said: "Consumers tell us that rising energy prices are one of their biggest concerns. Lagging lofts and filling draughty cavity walls are relatively straightforward and low cost ways to reduce bills, so this warning about a drop in basic insulation work is worrying.

"Even under the Government's current schemes it is estimated there are still just over eight million homes that need their loft insulation topping up and six million homes that need cavity walls filled. With all of this still left to complete, the Government must ensure that support is available to get these jobs done."

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