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Fewer households receive help with insulation

1.61m lofts were fully insulated in 2012, but just 110,000 were treated in the year to October 2013 – a pro-rata fall of 93 per cent, the Guardian has reported.

The number of homes becoming warmer and cheaper to heat under government-backed insulation schemes collapsed in 2013, according to the latest official statistics.

The drop, of more than 90 per cent in the case of loft insulation, was described as serious by the government’s own fuel poverty adviser and terrible by Labour.

The new figures show that the number of efficiency measures enabled by government schemes plummeted in 2013 as new policies replaced those of the previous government.

According to the Department of Energy and Climate Change figures, 1.61m lofts were fully insulated in 2012, but in the year to the end of October 2013, the most recent data released, just 110,000 had been treated, a pro-rata fall of 93 per cent.

For cavity wall insulation, measures fell from 640,000 in 2012 to 125,000 in the year to October 2013, a pro-rata fall of 77 per cent.

The big drops accompanying the start of the coalition’s energy company obligation (ECO) and green deal schemes in 2013 were predicted by the government’s own impact assessments.

ECO schemes, which require energy companies to deliver energy saving measures, account for 98 per cent of the measures installed in 2013, with the green deal delivering 2 per cent.

The number of green deal loans for home energy efficiency retrofits had reached just 458 by the end of November. Energy and climate change minister Greg Barker had said that fewer than 10,000 by the end of 2013 would cause him sleepless nights.

The original ambition for the flagship policy was to upgrade 14m homes by 2020 – described as the nation’s biggest property improvement scheme since the rebuilding that followed the second world war.

Government data from July 2013 showed 7.4m homes still had inadequate loft insulation, though only 236,000 had none at all, and 5.3m homes lacked cavity wall insulation.

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