Industry reacts to launch of £1bn Great British Insulation Scheme

Experts have different views on the £1 billion Great British Insulation Scheme, with some praising its potential to lower energy bills and others expressing concerns about delays and high gas costs

The recently launched Great British Insulation Scheme (GBIS) has garnered mixed reactions from industry experts, shedding light on both its potential benefits and areas for improvement.

Louise Shooter, Energy UK’s Policy Manager, emphasised the positive impact of enhancing energy efficiency through insulation, describing it as the most effective means of reducing energy bills, enhancing energy security and lowering carbon emissions.

Ms Shooter noted that the scheme’s financial support for households via their energy suppliers comes at a crucial time when energy costs are expected to remain elevated.

Louise Shooter said: “With energy bills set to remain higher than had been the case 18 months ago for the foreseeable future, the chance to save hundreds of pounds by having an energy efficient home is more valuable than ever.”

However, Shooter also called for increased government support, especially in light of the Climate Change Committee‘s declaration that the next decade is pivotal for decarbonising buildings.

Chris Friedler, Energy Efficiency Policy Manager at the Association for Decentralised Energy, said: “We’re delighted to see the public launch of the GBIS.

“In a time where energy efficiency’s triple win of tackling climate change, reducing household bills and increasing our energy security are all sorely needed, GBIS is a helping hand for hundreds of thousands of homes across the country.

“There’s plenty more to do on energy efficiency for millions more homes, especially those in the owner occupier sector, but this scheme is firm step in the right direction.”

Dr Simon Cran-McGreehin, Head of Analysis at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU), highlighted the importance of insulation in reducing energy bills and lessening the reliance on gas imports.

However, Dr Cran-McGreehin expressed concerns over the scheme’s delays and the persistently high gas bills, noting that the UK has been somewhat distracted by debates over North Sea oil and gas instead of focusing on energy efficiency, heat pumps and renewables.

Rocio Concha, Director of Policy and Advocacy at Which?, acknowledged the affordability challenge faced by households when considering insulation improvements.

Ms Concha welcomed the government’s support in helping eligible households reduce energy bills and keep their homes warm during the winter.

Concha stressed the need for improved awareness of available support, swift installation and better information and advice for consumers, including protection against fraud and rogue traders.

Rocio Concha said: “It is important that the government drives awareness of the support that is available, and ensures that eligible households can get insulation installed as soon as possible.

“Insulating a home can be complex and costly and the information and advice available to all households should improve so that people can feel confident making these vital changes to their homes.”

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