Botched Green Deal will cost thousands of jobs

a complete decimation of the loft and cavity wall insulation industry…

My industry is facing a crisis of unprecedented scale. At first glance, the Green Deal seems to offer a significant opportunity – but in reality it will result in a complete decimation of the loft and cavity wall insulation industry, causing thousands of job losses.

The way this policy is being introduced by the current Government will destroy businesses and proves that this is certainly not ‘the greenest Government ever’. It will result in a catastrophic drop in work from 1st January 2013 and dramatically fewer insulation installations in 2013 – resulting in 16,000 job losses, many of them before Christmas.

This shocking analysis is supported by the DECC’s own figures, which show an 87.5 per cent reduction in the loft installations, a 57 per cent reduction in cavity wall installation and a 16 per cent drop in solid wall projects. All this at a time when home owners need all the help they can get to reduce bills in the face of increasing prices.

The losses come from the gap between the ending of the existing schemes for cavity wall, solid wall and loft insulation, and the Green Deal and ECO becoming fully functional. The lack of any transition planning will also restrict investment and job creation in solid wall insulation, which is crucial if we are to transform the existing housing stock. 70 per cent of the houses we will have in 2050 have already been built…..

Let me be absolutely clear – I very much welcome the Government’s commitment to energy saving initiatives, and I have supported the Green Deal and ECO concepts since the beginning.

However, as we approach implementation, Government is dropping the ball. The Green Deal is not ready. Indeed, over the last year we have moved from a full launch on 1st October, to a ‘soft launch’ – to the Minister in charge, Greg Barker, stating at the Tory Party conference that: “the Green Deal has not been launched.” If he doesn’t have a clue what’s going on, how is industry supposed to plan?

The final design not only suggests a huge missed opportunity, it poses a serious threat to the livelihood of thousands of people within the industry.

It is therefore essential that the Secretary of State recognises the scale of the problem that is about to hit our industry and develops a set of measures to address the insulation gap and implement a suitable solution, before the redundancy notices start to land on door mats, and before production capacity is lost.

About Guest Blogger - John Sinfield

John Sinfield is managing director of Knauf Insulation UK

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