Insulation industry “in crisis” as job losses soar

Over 50,000 insulation installations across the UK have been cancelled due to the Government dragging its heels over energy efficiency policy.

Insulation industry “in crisis” as job losses soar

That’s according to new figures released on Friday (January 25) by the Insulation Industry Forum, which show job losses have risen to 4,220 jobs, with a further 1,350 on notice and nearly 45,000 installations cancelled across the UK as a direct result of delays in the introduction of the Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation (ECO).

This week Greg Barker MP, Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change, told SkyTV that that the funding crisis was “only” in the cavity and wall insulation sectors, however the IIF has confirmed that at least 13,000 orders for solid wall installations had also been cancelled or put on hold. Today the IIF warns of more solid wall job losses if the Government does not act urgently.

John Sinfield, IIF spokesman and managing director of Knauf Insulation Northern Europe said: “The insulation industry in the UK is in crisis. Today’s figures show that a number of companies across the country are faced with the prospect of having to close their doors – permanently.

“The crisis in the insulation industry is much worse than previously thought. This is having a hugely detrimental effect on the livelihoods of workers right across the UK.

“The Insulation Industry Forum has now written to DECC twice asking for an urgent meeting to resolve the crisis. At the coldest time of the year, companies across the country are faced with the real prospect of having to shut their doors for good, leaving houses freezing and thousands unemployed. DECC’s response so far has been to ignore our warnings and the issue.”

The £750m insulation industry has twice written to Government calling for urgent talks to avert the crisis and Shadow Climate Change Minister, Luciana Berger MP has called for the government to meet with the IIF, which represents a range of major installers, contractors and manufacturers, as well as leading trade bodies.

She said: “These job loss figures expose the effects of the chaotic Green Deal and ECO launch and show it is much worse than was previously thought. It’s wrong that more than four thousand hard working people and their families are paying the price for this Government’s incompetence. With so many orders being cancelled or put on hold, urgent action is needed before the situation gets any worse.

“Greg Barker and the rest of DECC need to wake up to the mess they’ve created, get around the table with the insulation industry and try to find a way to clear it up.”

The situation has been caused by the DECC’s failure to plan any transitional measures in between the ending of the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) and the Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP), and the start of the Green Deal and ECO.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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