Assessment for flagship scheme predicts 230,000 fewer installations than previously expected

Heat sensitive house picture

The government has slashed its forecast for the number of solid wall insulation installations it expects to be completed under the Green Deal by 60%, according to revised plans for the scheme published this week.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) published its final plan for the Green Deal on Monday, as well as the Energy Company Obligation (ECO), which will work with the Green Deal to tackle energy inefficiency in hard to treat and low income homes.

DECC said the revised plans would mean an increase in the number of jobs in the insulation sector from 26,000 to 60,000 by March 2015.

The impact assessment published alongside the revised scheme improved the outlook for loft and cavity wall insulation work. Despite the upward revisions of the forecasts (see table below), the projected installations of cavity and loft insulation are still set to fall under the Green Deal from their current levels. Currently about 510,000 cavity wall installations and 1 million loft insulations are carried out each year, but under the Green Deal this is projected to fall to about 332,000 and just 145,000 a year respectively.

DECC also downgraded the amount of solid wall insulation work forecast from 377,000 installations to March 2015 to just 147,000 over the same period - a fall of about 60% - although this is still about twice the current level of installations.

But DECC said it expected a sharp rise in the number of solid wall installations a year from 2015 onwards, up to 100,000 from just 24,000 in 2012.

Projected insulation installations to 2015

Solid wall 147,000 (-61% on initial forecast)
Cavity wall 830,000 (+25%)
Loft 364,000 (+80%)

Stephen Heath, external affairs director at manufacturer Knauf Insulation, said the firm had been looking to join an expanding solid wall insulation market but the impact assessment indicated that market would either decline or stagnate under the Green Deal.

“It’s becoming more white elephant than Green Deal. If those numbers are correct, it’s currently more a niche product rather than the game changer the government had hoped,” he said.

David Harrison, chair of the Insulated Render and Cladding Association, questioned DECC’s projections. He said the industry was expected to complete around 75,000 installations this year, rather than the 24,000 that the department has estimated.