NIA calls for government action to stop job losses

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The head of the National Insulation Association is calling on the government to do more to prevent job losses in the energy efficiency sector…

Neil Marshall, Chief Executive of the National Insulation Association, said the government should work to fast track the development of policy for home energy efficiency.

The NIA represents manufacturers, system designers, and installers of insulation such as cavity, external, internal, and loft.

The last few months have seen a number of energy efficiency schemes cut, including the government’s flagship programme Green Deal. It followed a number of significant blows to the sector such as the withdrawal of support for zero carbon homes standards and the removal of subsidies for solar energy measures.

Cutting Green Deal has undoubtedly been a significant blow to the sector. Speaking at the time, the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said the decision to scrap the scheme had been done a bid to protect taxpayers and to create a more efficient system in the future. It said it would work with the building sector and consumer groups to find a new approach that offered better value for money. However, critics lambasted the government for failing to offer an alternative to the scheme before scrapping it.

Marshall said it was a series of events that have damaged the sector. He said: “The changes made to the Energy Company Obligation scheme in 2014 coupled with Government decisions in July 2015 not to provide further funding to the Green Deal Finance Company and to end the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund with immediate effect without alternatives in place has resulted in a collapse in insulation activity levels.

“Whilst Government has outlined its intention to introduce a new long term policy framework for energy efficiency which we welcome, the insulation industry is currently in a state of crisis as a result of the absence of robust transitional arrangements to bridge the gap until the new polices and schemes are introduced.

“Without urgent intervention there will be further casualties, job losses and a loss of confidence to invest among insulation companies all of which will  impact on the industry’s ability to  scale up to support the delivery of the Governments longer term ambitions.

“The job losses clearly demonstrate the scale of the problems facing the industry at present and we would urge DECC Ministers to work with the industry in putting in place urgent actions to address the crisis.”

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