NIA Calls on DECC to announce its intentions on ECO & GDHIF

PrintThe National Insulation Association (NIA) yesterday (Thursday 2nd July) called on ministers from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to make announcements about their intentions for the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) when the scheme comes to an end in 2017, and the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF), before the Summer Recess on July 21, 2015.

As the NIA explains, recent figures published by DECC and OFGEM on ECO showed that the energy companies have already made significant progress towards their targets for ECO2 (April 2015 – end March 2017) , and that based on the installation rates for 2014/15, the target could be achieved one year early in the first quarter of 2016.

This, the Association told Roofzine, is reflected in the major slow down in recent ECO activity, where just 29,000 measures were installed in April 2015 – a two-year low – compared to 51,000 measures in March 2015 and 58,000 in April 2014.

The NIA points out that in addition to this, the GDHIF – which was designed to compensate for the shortfall in ECO activity following Government cuts to the scheme in 2014, is also on hold whilst the industry awaits decisions from ministers.

The NIA says the combined effect of these two factors has resulted in a collapse in insulation activity which it says is “harmful to householders and the industry alike”.

Neil Marshall, chief executive of the NIA, said: “We would like DECC ministers to confirm that there will be an ECO post 2017, the broad shape of it and when they are likely to publish detailed proposals, and we would like them to give some indication of what they are intending for GDHIF and whether there will be any further releases of funding in the short term.”

This news follows the publication of the Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC) annual progress report, which highlighted that all main insulation measures are behind the required trajectory to achieve the UK’s carbon reduction targets – which in the case of solid wall insulation, the NIA points out, is some 500,000 behind trajectory.

The NIA also explained that the CCC recommended to Government that urgent decisions were needed on the future of ECO post 2017 to provide some assurance to the supply chain.

Scottish Government make energy efficiency a national infrastructure priority


The Scottish Government has announced a new raft of measures to tackle climate change, including a promise to make energy efficiency a national infrastructure priority.

The pledge which has been championed by 200 members of the Energy Bill Revolution means that Scotland will become the first national in the world to make this breakthrough.

Following a visit to a housing energy efficiency project in Dumbiedykes in Edinburgh (which has utilised Alumasc Swisslab EWI System), Climate Change Minister Aileen McLeod revealed the Energy Efficiency Programme will provide an offer of support to all buildings in Scotland – domestic and non-domestic – to help them achieve a good energy efficiency rating over the next 15-20 years.

One measure that both domestic and non-domestic properties could implement is External Wall Insulation (EWI) which totally encapsulates the building structure which is the most effective way of insulating a building, with least risk of cold bridging and interstitial condensation.

The Scottish Government recently announced the next phase of the HEEPS: Cashback Scheme and a new HEEPS: Loan Scheme to tackle fuel poverty. Homeowners, private tenants and for social landlords can apply for 75% of the cost of Solid Wall Insulation SWI up to a maximum of £4,500 and/or up to £1,200 for a range of other recommended energy efficiency measures.

Park Road Flats – West Lothian

Swisslab from Alumasc is the market-leading direct-fix EWI insulated render system for overcladding existing properties. It is extensively used to upgrade housing and strongly contributes to urban regeneration.

A number of refurbishment projects in Scotland have already benefited from the Alumasc Swisslab EWI system, including The Devonway Estate in Clackmannan and Park Road Flats in West Lothian.

Swisslab is a BBA Approved, fully warranted system with an effective life in excess of 30 years. Swisslab is fully weather resistant whilst remaining vapour permeable and allows the fabric of the building to act as a heat store, increasing thermal efficiency.

For more information, please visit, call +44 (0) 3335 771 700 or email

Latest GDHIF Figures

hays_1226562The latest monthly statistics from the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) show that almost 1,800 Solid Wall Insulations (SWI) installations were completed under the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) in April, bringing the total number so far to just over 16,500.

By the end of April, over £96 million had been paid out of the combined pot of £220 million for the first three phases of the scheme.

The number of Green Deal (GD) assessments decreased by 40% in April which DECC attributed to the Easter break; however, the number of GD Plans increased by 11%. 22% of GD Plans were ‘new’ (quote accepted), 19% were ‘pending’ (Plan signed) and 59% were ‘live’ (all measures installed).

Just under 4,400 SWI measures were installed under ECO in March, more than double the number of installations in February, as energy companies tried to complete their carbon allocation before ECO 2.0.

For more information on various funding for External Wall Insulation visit our dedicated EWI Funding Page.

For more information on Alumasc Facade Systems please visit, call +44 (0) 3335 771 700 or email

Social housing in Wales to get £108m investment by Welsh Government

Welsh EWI FundingImprovements worth over £100m will be made to Wales’ stock of social housing, the Welsh government has announced.

The money will be available to be accessed by councils and housing associations to improve homes up to the Welsh Housing Quality Standard (WHQS), as well as to creating jobs and training opportunities.

Social landlords in Wales are obligated to meet the WHQS by 2020 with 67% (149,755 homes) currently meeting the standards, an increase of 7% on the previous year. This is compared with 83% of housing association homes hitting the target compared with just 44% of council owned properties.

There is currently a five year target to bring 200,000 social homes up to quality and safety standards, including improving the energy efficiency of homes.

Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty Lesley Griffiths also announced that the Welsh government will be investing more than £400m in affordable homes.

Two Social Housing schemes to benefit from improvements to their External Wall Insualtion with Alumasc Facade Systems are Maes Mabon and BISF Homes, Cefn Forest. 

For more information, please visit, call +44 (0) 3335 771 700 or email 

Scottish Government Funding Announced

Scottish government logo (1)The Scottish Government has announced the next phase of the HEEPS: Cashback Scheme and a new HEEPS: Loan Scheme as part of a £103 million investment to tackle fuel poverty.

Under the HEEPS: Cashback Scheme £10 million is available for homeowners and private tenants and £5 million for social landlords, who can apply for 75% of the cost of SWI up to a maximum of £4,500 and/or up to £1,200 for a range of other recommended energy efficiency measures.

They can also claim a £100 refund on their GDAR if at least one recommended measure is installed.

Under the HEEPS: Loan Scheme £14 million is available for homeowners in interest-free loans of up to £10,000 for energy efficiency measures including SWI.

Details of how to apply are available on the Energy Saving Trust website.

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

INCA External Wall Insulation Manifesto Launched

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Ahead of the General Election in May, INCA has published a manifesto which calls on any future Government to set out a clear role for External Wall Insulation as part of a coherent energy efficiency strategy by:

1. Recognising the economic case for investment in External Wall Insulation to reduce carbon emissions and fuel poverty, to create growth in the UK economy and to support community regeneration

2. Developing and implementing an energy efficiency strategy that supports External Wall Insulation on a large scale with realistic targets for upscaling the delivery of External Wall Insulation to insulate 3.5 million solid wall properties by 2030

1. Committing to consistent policies which allow the External Wall Insulation industry to invest and plan for the future to the benefit of its clients

4. Prioritising funding for sustainable funding initiatives developed with input from the industry.

Over the coming months, INCA will be engaging with key Government and political stakeholders to support the keys asks in the manifesto with backing from our industry stakeholders.

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

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

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.”


GDHIF second release: funding fully allocated for solid wall insulation

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Up to £24 million worth of funding for solid wall insulation has been allocated to households in England and Wales through the second release of the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) creating a pipeline of work for the industry to carry out over the coming months.

Applications for solid wall insulation have now closed, however, subject to terms and conditions, domestic energy customers can still apply for up to £6 million to make energy efficient home improvements through GDHIF, including:
– up to £1000 for installing two measures from an approved list;
– up to £100 refunded for their Green Deal Assessment if that recommends the measures applied for;
– up to £500 more if applying within 12 months of buying a new home.

Details of further releases of funding will be announced on a quarterly basis with the next release expected in February 2015. Funding is part of the additional £100 million for household energy efficiency measures announced in October 2014 which is in addition to the £450 million already allocated to household energy efficiency over 2014 – 17.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Amber Rudd said:

“The Green Deal Home Improvement Fund has been incredibly popular – it’s helping thousands of people have warmer homes and more control of their energy bills. Although the fund for solid wall insulation is fully allocated, there’s still money available now for a range of other measures and another release of funding is expected in February.

“More than three quarters of a million homes have already had energy saving improvements installed as a result of the Energy Company Obligation and Green Deal.”

Remaining funds are limited and DECC may vary the terms of the scheme (including the incentive rates) or suspend or close the scheme, with immediate effect, without notice and at any time.

If you require any further advice on energy efficiency or any more information regarding the Green Deal please contact Alumasc Facades on +44 (0)1744 648 400. Alternatively click here to visit our website.


GDHIF Phase 2 – Terms and Conditions Published

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DECC has just published updated Terms and Conditions for GDHIF Phase 2 which will reopen for applications shortly after additional funding of up to £100 million was announced earlier this year – Please note that funding rates and other scheme details will be confirmed by DECC in due course prior to the scheme reopening.

There is an important change to the application process for householders who will now need to provide the following to complete an application:

Green Deal Advice Report or an Energy Performance Certificate

which is less than two years old and which recommends the measure(s) being applied for

Quote/s for the work which must include:

– the customer’s name

– the address of the property to be improved

– the name of the Registered Participant providing the quote which must be the name used to register with the scheme

– for each measure, the total estimated cost of the work to install the measure, inclusive of VAT if applicable and any discount or refund to be applied (either before or after payment) and excluding any finance interest or cost

– Proof of ownership of the property for undertakings (such as landlords).

People applying for the scheme must be the Owner or Occupier of the property they are improving. Managing agents will not be eligible to apply under the scheme.

Other changes to the Terms and Conditions include a requirement on Scheme Participants to complete an additional declaration that the required standard has been complied with when completing a voucher and the removal of Passive Flue Gas Heat Recovery Systems as an eligible measure. The Terms and Conditions can be viewed in full at

Further information regarding GDHIF Phase 2 will be circulated to all INCA members as soon as it is available.

For further information contact Alumasc Facades on 03335 771 700.