Government reaches one million home target for energy efficiency schemes

Energy efficiency measures have been installed in one million homes as a result of Green Deal Fund External Wall InsulationGovernment schemes, according to the latest figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

By the end of November 2014, the combination of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and Green Deal schemes had delivered measures to 1,021,000 homes – four months ahead of the March 2015 target DECC had set itself.

The large majority of installed measures (97%) were delivered through ECO.

Ed Davey, secretary of state for Energy and Climate Change, said:

“Helping to make one million homes in Britain warmer through energy efficiency is great news – and to hit our target early is even better.

One million extra homes already have permanently lower energy bills – whether that’s thanks to better insulation or more effective boilers. The challenge now is to continue this drive – and our next installment of the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund is coming soon.”

Energy and Climate Change minister Amber Rudd

“More than one million homes across the country – including over 28,000 homes in rural areas – are enjoying a warmer, cheaper and greener winter thanks to our policies.

I want to see energy companies continue to deliver their obligations so more people can reap the benefits and stay warm this winter and every winter.”

However, following the Government’s announcement in December 2013 of proposed cuts to ECO, and an extension to its current targets, the number of measures installed under the scheme have showed month-on-month decline. November 2014 was no exception, with measures down 10% from the previous month.

The implementation of the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) was intended to offset the changes made to ECO, but is only available for short periods when funds are released. The most recent phase of GDHIF saw £24m in funding for solid wall insulation – the sector considered most at risk from ECO cuts – swallowed in just over a day, with more funds to be made available in February 2014.

Up to a further £6 million is still up for grabs – homeowners can apply for up to £1,600 if they install two measures from a list of home improvements under the Fund.

If you require further information regarding the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund or ECO please contact Alumasc Facades on 03335771700 or visit our website


Alumasc’s EWI & Render Systems Chosen For Textile Building Refurbishment

Textile Building 440x360Alumasc’s External Wall Insulation (EWI) systems have been specified on the historic Textile Building on Chatham Place in Hackney, resulting in a weather-proof, energy efficient and attractive building exterior being achieved.

This urban warehouse redevelopment, offers both residential and commercial space on the site of the former Burberry fashion factory. The refurbishment of the original Victorian building includes a new build section to the top, providing luxury penthouse living space.
Specified by architects Buckley Gray Yeoman and installed by CNJ Plastering, Alumasc’s Swistherm EWI system was installed around all existing elevations of the Textile Building, including the stairwells and courtyard garden areas. The original late 19th century building was of solid brick construction and in very poor condition.

Swistherm was selected for these areas as it could be directly fixed to what was a poor quality substrate. CNJ Plastering and the Alumasc Technical Team worked closely together to ensure the EPS insulation within the system was fixed in a variety of thicknesses to level the variations in the surface and provide the solid and even base required for the application of the final render finish.

A further challenge of the scheme related to the high tech new build sections that were being constructed. The aim was to replicate and blend in the rib-type detail on the existing building with the new build element, creating a seamless transition between both parts.

Alumasc’s Swisrail EWI system met the design brief on the new build upper levels of the building, as it is ideal for use on framed buildings, complying with NHBC guidelines. Swisrail comprises a series of steel rails and channels, which were used to create a 25mm drained cavity between the insulation and the framed building.

The final contemporary finish on both the refurbished and new sections of the building was achieved with Alumasc’s silicone and mineral renders, coloured white and shades of grey to meet the architect’s specification.

John Douglas, director at CNJ Plastering, comments:

“The building was in a really sorry state to begin with but, by working with the Alumasc team, we were able to overcome its many problems and create a strong and flat working surface on which to apply the EWI system.

We’ve worked with Alumasc for many years on various projects, and it’s this positive history which made us confident that the Alumasc EWI system specified would cope with the challenges of the scheme. We are delighted to have been involved and are extremely proud of the final result, as are the architect and the client.”

Alumasc EWI systems are BBA approved, fully warranted and available with a range of design and specification options, across many building types.

For more information on all of Alumasc’s External Wall Insulation systems, please call 03335 771 700 or visit

Are you in the External Wall Insulation Industry?

Picture 135North West Skills Academy are offering exclusive fully funded/free External Wall Insulation Supervisor/Management courses to all SME companies within the Greater Manchester and Lancashire postcodes.

The course lends itself to Operatives, Supervisors, and site mangers alike within the External Wall Insulation industry and is essential to raise the CV or profile of the individual or company.

The course is CITB accredited. All candidates will receive a Level 2 Diploma unit on completion.

12 places are available per course and run from 8.30 until 4.30 at our centre in Reddish, Manchester.

For a booking form and more information please contact Jason Gledhill on 07764767097 or

To find out more about External Wall Insulation visit our website or call 03335 771 700

GDHIF Phase 2 Claims Portal Open

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The Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) Claims Portal is now accepting phase 2 vouchers for payment. To begin the process of redeeming a voucher, a homeowner must provide their voucher reference, email address used on their application, and property address.  At that point, they will need to upload their completed voucher and an invoice for the energy saving measure(s) together with the GDAR invoice and/or relevant documentation for the Homebuyer’s Bonus (if applicable). GDHIF is currently closed to SWI applications and an announcement on further releases of funding is expected in February.

To find out more about solid wall insulation or GDHIF please contact Alumasc Facades on 01744 648 400, visit our website or email us at

Industry Heavyweights BBA & EST join forces to offer new opportunity for approval

206x127The British Board of Agrément (BBA) and the Energy Saving Trust (EST) have combined to offer a new wide-range of verification, testing, endorsement and consultancy services for companies seeking an independent stamp of approval for their energy efficient products.

EST says the partnership brings together the best each organisation has to offer in terms of expertise, and will ensure consumers are rewarded when investing in energy efficient products because the claims made by manufacturers will be independently assessed and verified.

Since it was founded in 1992, EST has developed an extensive database of information on energy using and energy related products, measuring their performance in the laboratory and in-situ and setting best practice performance standards in line with national, European and International regulations. EST’s product certification experience spans across large and small domestic appliances, consumer electronics, information technology, lighting, heating, insulation and glazing.

estlogo1Philip Sellwood, chief executive of the Energy Saving Trust, said: “This partnership is a great opportunity to expand our reach among new corporate and consumer audiences. We are seeking to establish consistent product compliance across all aspects of energy efficiency, and this new collaboration will bring us further toward that goal.”

For nearly 50 years, the BBA says it has provided rigorous testing, inspection and certification services to support manufacturers and installers in achieving excellence, and also to provide joined-up reassurance throughout the industry. Building fabric insulation, microgeneration and other energy efficient products and systems are key sectors for this reassurance.

Claire Curtis-Thomas, chief executive of BBA, said:

“The partnership with EST represents a wonderful opportunity for BBA to expand the scope of our services and the markets we serve. Over the years EST has developed considerable resources and unparalleled expertise in advising on energy related issues. Together with the BBA’s technical approval testing and inspection expertise, clients will benefit from more consistent and comprehensive services. We’re thrilled to partner with EST.”

If you would like any further information4 call (0) 3335 771 700 or email

Government installs over one million energy efficiency measures


Over a million measures have been installed through the government’s various energy efficiency schemes since the beginning of 2013, according to the latest figure
s released by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

Between January 2013 and the end of October 2014, 1,023,000 measures have been installed through the Energy Company Obligation (ECO), Cashback, the Green Deal and the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF). Despite changes to the scheme meaning that it will have its targets significantly reduced, ECO has been responsible for 97% of these measures.

When last recorded by the DECC, over 819,000 properties had installed measures through the energy efficiency initiatives. DECC has promised to complete measures in o
ne million homes by March 2015; a target which it says it is “on course to achieve”.

DECC’s findings also show that despite the relatively low number of Green Deal Plans in use (just over 8,000, with less than half complete and therefore ‘live’), over 420,000 Green Deal Assessments (GDAs) have taken place since the scheme’s launch. Well over one million improvements have been recommended as a result of these assessments, however the majority of households are choosing not to pursue the Green Deal further.

However, in Foundations in Place, the first Annual Report for the Green Deal and ECO, the parliamentary under secretary of state for DECC, Amber Rudd, said: “Surveys consistently report that around 80% of those who received an assessment have said they have installed at least one recommended measure, or have active plans to do so.”

The most common measure to be recommended following an assessment was to improve a property’s loft insulation, which accounted for 14% of all recommended measures and was recommended in 45% of all GDAs. However, when taken together, almost 55% of recommended improvements were for some form of insulation. It is thought this is the reason behind the separation of solid wall insulation into its own fund within the second phase of the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF).

DECC also published updated figures for the first version of the GDHIF, which closed after just six weeks when it was reported that the entire £120m fund was allocated. However, by the end of November 2014, there were over 20,600 active applications under the first GDHIF, totalling around £111m. DECC has yet to announce the allocation of the fund’s remaining £9m.

Ms. Rudd added that both the Green Deal and ECO will continue to undergo changes throughout 2015, with a reduction in ECO’s targets already confirmed for April.


If you would like any further information4 call (0) 3335 771 700 or email

Majority of UK homes still in need of solid wall insulation

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The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has released data showing that around 7.6m (95%) of homes still require solid wall insulation.

In a series of publications covering the state of insulation in Great Britain’s housing stock, DECC revealed that of 27.3m homes, eight million have solid walls. At the end of September 2014, only 273,000 had solid wall insulation, which DECC claim is a result of previous Government schemes. A large portion of these homes have only had solid wall insulation installed in the 12 months to September 2014, with 56,000 homes having insulation installed in this time.

The remaining properties are said to be predominantly hard to treat homes that are considered to not be cost effective to insulate.

Neil Marshall, chief executive of the National Insulation Association (NIA), said:

“Nearly 8 million homes have solid walls that need insulating, and it is imperative that all political parties make a commitment to – and put in place – robust plans and funding to treat these in a timely manner.”

Conversely, 72% of properties with cavity walls have the insulation required, while 69% of the 23.9m properties with a loft have appropriate insulation, which DECC deems as lofts with at least 125mm of insulation. Only a small number of properties with lofts (around 1%) are estimated to have no insulation at all, however there are still millions of lofts that are thought to have inadequate insulation and need topping up.

DECC says that the key use of these estimates is to identify homes that have the potential to receive cavity wall, loft and solid wall insulation in the future. It has already begun to implement initiatives partially designed to address the drastic deficit in homes without solid wall insulation. For example, the most recent version of the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) earmarked £24m of the £30m released for solid wall insulation only. However, this is unlikely to fill the gap left by government cuts to the ECO scheme.

Mr. Marshall added:

“Under the original Energy Company Obligation there were expected to be around 60,000 solid wall insulation installations a year between 2013 and 2017, however as a result of the cuts made to the ECO by Government in July 2014, this has now fallen to around 25,000. Whilst the GDHIF is helpful it is only a three year programme and even if the entire £150m per year was spent on solid wall insulation, it would only result in around 30,000 installations. At a combined rate of 55,000 installs per year it would take around 140 years to insulate all the solid walls.

“What is needed is a long-term plan supported by appropriate levels of funding to insulate the entire housing stock. We are therefore calling on all political parties to define energy efficiency retrofit of the UK housing stock a national infrastructure priority, and to make additional funds available from the Government’s national infrastructure budget to get the job done.”

There has also been criticism of the structure of the GDHIF, particularly as the solid wall insulation funding included in the latest incarnation of the fund was allocated in just over a day. As reported by Roofzine in December 2014, the strategy was criticised for being a ‘feast and famine’ approach that will not address the issue with enough speed.


If you would like any further information4 call (0) 3335 771 700 or email

GDHIF Phase 2 – Latest Update

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The Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) remains closed to SWI applications after the £24 million of funding available for SWI under phase 2 was allocated in less than two days at the end of last year.  Further releases of funding will be announced on a quarterly basis with the next tranche expected in February.

DECC is currently reporting separately on GDHIF phase 2 and the last weekly report on 7 January shows that 1,533 vouchers including SWI have been issued out of a total of 5,520 applications.

For more information on the Green Deal please contact Alumasc Facades on 01744 648 400 or visit our website