Call for new legislation to create national property insulation standard in UK

All new and existing homes in the UK should have to meet national insulation standards with incentives such as a cut in stamp duty for properties that meet them, it is suggested.

A new report from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers also calls for insulation installers to have to sign up to a certification scheme similar to Gas Safe registration.

It wants the government to urgently introduce legislation for a national insulation programme to cover every UK home that would declare all building stock as ‘national infrastructure’ and provide incentives, such as a reduction in stamp duty, for homeowners to install insulation to national standards.

For those who cannot afford to pay, a national scheme to cover the cost of work would be funded by general taxation and the report also calls for installers of energy demand reduction measures to be trained to meet a mandatory competence registration, similar to the CORGI certification / Gas Safe Register for gas installers.

‘The UK’s housing stock is some of the most poorly insulated in the developed world, largely because of the age of much of the countries domestic dwellings and the failure of successive governments to take the meaningful action required on energy efficiency measures,’ said Dr Tim Fox, lead author of the report and a fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

He pointed out that the amount of money and fuel that is wasted on heating poorly insulated homes is appalling. ‘The UK is facing a future of depleting UK gas reserves. It is clear that it is time for urgent action to improve energy efficiency in UK homes,’ said Fox.

‘Incentives could include schemes such as enabling sellers to offset the cost of upgrading their insulation to national standards against the stamp duty payable on the sale of the home,’ he added.

He also want the government to recognise the importance of the installer community in achieving its energy security and decarbonisation goals for heat provision and introduce ‘free’ training alongside a new mandatory competence registration for installers of energy efficiency and sustainable supply systems. I

According to the report, the UK’s current heat infrastructure evolved in response to the availability of abundant supplies of affordable North Sea gas but is no longer fit for purpose to meet the country’s future energy security challenges, social needs and decarbonisation aspirations.