The number of houses where loft insulation was improved this year (2013) with the help of a government scheme collapsed by 93% compared with 2012. In the year to end of October just 110,000 homes benefitted compared with 1.6 million the previous year.
Cavity wall insulation supported by the scheme fell by 77% from 640,000 homes to 125,000, the Guardian reports.
Why David Cameron felt the need to say, “We’ve go to get rid of this green crap” (Daily Mail) in October is becoming even more difficult to fathom: his Government had already done it. It was in 2006 that he coined the phrase “vote blue, go green”. He said (BBC) it was not a choice between economic growth or a sustainable environment: “We’ve got to have green growth.”
The dramatic fall in home insulation improvements coincides with the start of the coalition’s energy company obligation (ECO) which accounts for most of the installations in 2013, with the much hyped GreenDeal accounting for only 2%.
If the Government was serious about reducing fuel poverty it would be ensuring that homes were better insulated to cut energy bills. But, as Derek Lickorish, chairman of the government’s fuel poverty advisory group, told the Guardian, it is “perverse” that the £50 curb on rising fuel bills was largely achieved by cutting energy efficiency schemes.