Millions of homes do not meet insulation standards

insulation installation
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A new study of over 21 million homes, an update to research first carried out two years ago, has found that millions still only meet insulation standards of 1976 or earlier.

The study, conducted by EDF in partnership with property data platform Sprift, analysed the current levels of home insulation (including floor, roof, window and wall insulation) against building regulations across different time periods to calculate the ‘insulation age’ of homes in the UK.

The researchers found 13,916,843 million properties in England and Wales (55%) only meet the insulation standards of 1976 Building Regulations or earlier. These homes predominantly lose heat through inadequate wall cavity insulation, lack of double glazing, insufficient loft insulation and poor floor insulation.

There has been improvements since the first study two years ago, with 18% of properties now having an insulation age of 2002 or younger compared to 8% in 2022. This is, however, mostly down to newer properties, built since 2022, which are required to meet new regulatory insulation standards.

The average semi-detached homeowner could save up to £235 a year if they upgraded their cavity-wall insulation, £225 by having a well-insulated loft, or £315 a year if they updated their solid wall insulation.

Philippe Commaret, Managing Director for Customers at EDF, said:

It’s clear from this research that, despite the energy crisis, little progress has been made in improving the energy efficiency of older British homes in the past two years, meaning millions of homeowners are missing out on significant savings on their energy bills. Our ongoing efforts to support and improve crucial initiatives such as the Great British Insulation Scheme will help empower customers to embrace energy efficiency so they can save both cash and carbon.

With three-quarters (74%) of the population stating that they would welcome government support schemes to help improve the energy efficiency of their properties, EDF is seeking to extend the benefits of the GBIS scheme to more households by calling on the government for improvements, such as:

  • Allowing the installation of more than one measure. Currently only one measure per home is allowed. Allowing multiple measures in homes that require them would help customers lower customers energy bills and carbon footprint, as well as reducing the costs of delivering the scheme.
  • Including heating control measures e.g. room thermostats, as a secondary measure for all customer groups (currently only delivered within the ‘low income group’). Heating controls are cost effective to install and can bring a big benefit on bill and usage reduction for households.
  • Extending the scheme eligibility to include Council Tax Band E homes in England, which would bring in scope an additional 2.4 million homes – representing an extra 10% of all homes in England. Currently the eligibility criteria is Council Tax Bands A-D. This could open up much needed support to customers, including those on low incomes, struggling with the cost of heating a larger home.

For further information visit: edfenergy.com/heating/advice/what-is-insulation-how-does-work

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