Cold homes need more than warm words, argues Knauf
Published: 23 April, 2015
As each political party broadcasts its Manifesto in the approach to the General Election, Knauf Insulation has reflected on the announcements so far.
The company has strongly welcomed the clear emphasis placed upon an ambitious, whole-house approach to tackling the cold homes crisis set out by the Liberal Democrats in their Manifesto. It has also warmly received ongoing commitments by both the Liberal Democrats and the Labour Party to ensure that energy efficiency is a national infrastructure priority if either party forms a part of the next government.
However, Knauf observed that at the Manifesto stage, only the Liberal Democrats indicate they would use infrastructure capital spending to part-fund a large-scale renovation programme.
Meanwhile, the Conservative Manifesto notes the needs faced by millions of families, but offers a comparatively low level of ambition according to Knauf, pledging insulation support for only 1m homes over the next five years. This is an 80% drop in the number of homes helped compared to the 2010 to 2015 period – figures that include measures delivered in current underperforming schemes ECO and Green Deal.
John Sinfield (pictured), managing director of Knauf Insulation Northern Europe, said: “Using less energy is an easy win for the UK economy, but the next six months may make or break this opportunity. We look forward to working with the next government to deliver growth and a clear programme for warm homes that can make this happen.”
Finally, while the challenges of setting out the ambition for the next parliament term begin in May, a more immediate problem must also be addressed: the current ECO term, due to end in 2017, is likely to be complete much earlier, says Knauf. Without clear action early in the next parliament, vulnerable people will not continue to receive help throughout 2016.