INCA calls on Government to double ECO target for SWI

The Insulated Render and Cladding Association (INCA) has called on the government to double the target for Solid Wall Insulation (SWI) measures in the 2017 ECO transition period, in response to the government’s ‘Help to Heat’ consultation.

The Association says that the proposed ECO scheme has several positive features, however fuel poverty cannot be effectively tackled without a strong focus on SWI as almost half of Britain’s ‘fuel poor’ families live in solid wall homes.

The response also states that the key cost assumptions used by government have been significantly overstated, which has resulted in a very low target of 17,000 measures per year being set for SWI. INCA believes that the SWI target should be doubled to 33,000 measures per year, which it feels can easily be delivered within the £640m budget.

Analysis undertaken by AgilityEco on behalf of INCA, as part of its response to the consultation, suggests that the costs estimated in the government Impact Assessment are overstated by more than £200m and that the ECO support required to deliver SWI is much lower than assumed.

The Association says there are eight million British households living in solid wall homes and the proposed reduction in the SWI target is unjustified and wholly unacceptable.

Mitch Gee, chairman of INCA, said: “From the evidence gathered by AgilityEco from INCA members and discussions with government analysts we believe that the ECO scheme costs are overestimated and the scheme lacks ambition for SWI, missing a huge opportunity to have a positive impact on 8 million families and half of Britain’s fuel poor.

“Our fear is that the low target is likely to be achieved even before the new scheme begins, and the resulting hiatus will reduce industry capacity for future years. We urge the government to double the target which can be easily achieved within its budget without impacting on consumer bills.”