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Government insulation plans a “welcome step in the right direction”

The Government’s recently announced ECO+ Scheme has been hailed a welcome step in the right direction in improving energy efficiency in UK homes by an industry trade body.

Set to launch in Spring 2023, the ECO+ scheme will set aside £1bn to improve insulation among the UK’s homes. It will help to reduce energy costs households by around £310 a year and extend support to those in the least energy efficient homes in lower Council Tax bands. It follows the announcement of a further £18m that will give the public advice on saving hundreds on bills without sacrificing comfort.

The Heating & Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC) has welcomed the plans, after its own research of 2,000 UK homeowners revealed public concerns heading into winter. Its survey found that  the majority of UK households (93%) have stated they are worried about the price of their heating this winter. It also found nine in ten (89%) people will be changing their home heating behaviour in some way to reflect the increasing costs.

As a result, HHIC has also produced its own guide, Improving the Efficiency of Home Heating, with the aim of providing energy efficiency improvements nationally. It includes advice on boiler servicing, use of thermostats to increase efficiency, system water treatment, and the use of inhibitors, in addition to ways their heating engineer can support with efficiency.

As energy bills costs are set to rise further, it is more important than ever that UK households have all they need to keep costs as low as possible, as Stewart Clements, Director of the HHIC explains.

“Rising energy bills are front of mind for everyone at the moment and so households across the UK are rightfully worried about paying the increase. We are pleased to see the Government join the heating industry in giving people the tools to reduce their energy consumption and save money with crucial measures like insultation.”

In recent years the drive for efficiency for home heating has been a priority for the Government and industry. Since 2018, Boiler Plus, an addition to part Part L of the Building Regulations, has required heating engineers to fit the latest room thermostat when fitting a new boiler.

The aim of the legislation is to reduce carbon emissions and improving energy efficiency and so fitting these controls to an already installed boiler will also help homeowners to save money. The HHIC has also highlighted that new ECO+ would not only be a crucial step in improving energy efficiency, but will also establish the foundation for reducing emissions from home heating.

Stewart says: “We are gearing up as an industry and a nation to reach net zero emissions by 2050, and we absolutely cannot do this if our housing stock isn’t energy efficient. Preparing our buildings now with energy efficient measures like insulation, while changing the public’s habits around heating and energy consumption, will help with the integration of new low carbon technologies into our buildings.”

14 December 2022

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