A report from the London Assembly has warned that, at current rates of progress, it would take at least 65 years to fully insulate homes in the capital. The report, Lagging Behind – Insulating homes in London, also warns that the low rate will also harm the Mayor’s plans to reduce the number of households in fuel poverty.
The report says retrofitting houses with insulation and double-glazing could cut 4.2 million tonnes of CO2 or around a quarter of London’s household emissions and that basic insulation could save £250-£350 off a home’s typical annual energy bill.
The Assembly Environment Committee found there are a number of reasons why London’s insulation rate is so low: it is cheaper and easier for installers to operate outside the capital; the number of available schemes is confusing; and existing incentives are not effective enough to encourage people to take part.
Darren Johnson AM, Chair of the Environment Committee, said: “Home insulation does not inspire photo shoots in glossy magazines like a new bathroom or kitchen – but those other home improvements will not save money or help cut carbon emissions like roof and wall insulation will.
“Our report estimates that between 40,000 and 55,000 insulations were carried out in London in 2007. While this sounds like a significant number, London has a lot of catching up to do if it is to match the rest of the country.”
The Committee is calling on Mayor Boris Johnson to set out “an ambitious programme to rapidly expand insulation activity” and deliver 90,000 insulations a year and to encourage the consolidation of schemes under one phone number offering advice, guiding householders to the right deal for them, and arranging for installers to visit.