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


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

NIA sets out ambitious plans for 2015

national_insulation_association_logoAt the National Insulation Association’s (NIA) Annual Conference which took place on 4th December 2014, its Chief Executive briefed members on the plans the association had to stimulate the markets for external wall insulation and position its members as the preferred choice for householders and specifiers in 2015.

Neil Marshall, Chief Executive of the NIA commented: “With solid wall insulation installations expected to be minimal under the Energy Company Obligation due to Government cuts earlier this year and the stop start nature of the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) the NIA will be focusing greater attention on stimulating solid wall insulation activity in other market sectors including new build and commercial refurbishment. The theme of our conference was ‘Building a Sustainable Future for our Industry’ and that is exactly what we intend to do.

“As well as creating additional opportunities for members we will be clearly positioning and promoting NIA members as the preferred choice to carry out external and internal wall insulation work. We will of course be continuing to work very closely with Governments throughout the UK to help in shaping the various Government and energy company funded grants and schemes to maximum effect.”

NIA will be supporting its solid wall insulation members in 2015 with the following services:

– Prov
iding information and advice on opportunities in different market sectors, funding available and how to access these.

– Promoting the benefits of solid wall insulation and using NIA members to householders, funders and specifiers in the domestic, new build and commercial markets. NIA has around 100,000 hits on its website each year from people looking for companies to carry out work.

– Introducing a new quality and service charter for NIA members to clearly differentiate them from non-members and provide competitive advantage when quoting or tendering for work.

– Working in partnership with housing providers, builders, framework operators and other specifiers in encouraging them to request NIA membership to work on projects.

In conclusion Marshall added: “2014 has been a volatile and challenging year for solid wall insulation companies particularly with the changes to the Energy Company Obligation and the feast and famine nature of the GDHIF. As a trade association committed to delivering added value to its members, we are determined to support our membership in accessing sustainable business opportunities going forward.”


Swisslab External Wall Insulation used in Cottage Renovation Project

The Old Cottages are two newly renovated period properties in Sarratt, near Rickmansworth. Originally six workers’ cottages, they have now been remodelled and renovated to form two semi-detached dwellings.


As part of the renovation, Alumasc’s Swisslab external wall insulation (EWI) system was specified as a result of owner Richard Haynes contacting energy saving specialists, the Mark Group. Advice was sought on how the thermal performance of the buildings could be improved, resulting in EWI being put forward.


The period solid brick construction meant that energy efficiency and aesthetics at The Old Cottages were both in need of improvement. As the Mark Group have an excellent, long-standing working relationship with Alumasc, they were confident that Swisslab External Wall Insulation would easily meet all the requirements of the scheme.

The Mark Group offer a dedicated EWI installation service for domestic properties, often helping homeowners and residents to take advantage of Government schemes and energy saving initiatives. This scheme was part-funded by the Energy Company Obligation (ECO).


The aim of the installation was to improve the thermal performance, thus lowering future energy bills at the two properties.

An additional goal was to improve the appearance of the The Old Cottages as owner, Richard Haynes, explains:

“The original properties looked awful. The exterior was painted brick and a number of doors and windows had been bricked up over the years.”

Alumasc’s Swisslab External Wall Insulation was the ideal choice for the project. This direct-fix insulated render system is commonly used for over-cladding existing properties and brings with it a number of benefits over and above the obvious improvements to thermal performance and upgrade of the building facade. These include, amongst others, weather protection and elimination of condensation and mould growth.


The Swisslab system used at The Old Cottages comprised 60mm phenolic insulation along with Alumasc’s high performance Silkolitt silicone render in standard white, the latter greatly improving the aesthetic appeal of the building.


As a result of the EWI installation, both properties at The Old Cottages have significantly improved thermal performance, with U-values now at 0.3W/(m2k) compared to the previous 2.10W/(m2k).

Speaking about the finished product, Richard Haynes, said:

“We’re really pleased with the results. Both houses look infinitely better and although this winter was kind to us in terms of the weather, I’m confident that the new insulation will benefit us even further in any future harsh winters. I’d definitely recommend EWI to other homeowners looking to increase energy efficiency in their properties.”

Sarah Shanahan, office manager at the Mark Group added:

“I’m personally really proud of The Old Cottages project. Not only do the properties look fantastic, but the improvement in energy efficiency is really impressive. At the Mark Group we’re always happy to install Swisslab – it’s a system we always refer back to.”

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

To find out more about Alumasc’s External Wall Insulation Systems click here or call +44 (0) 3335 771 700.