The National Insulation Association (NIA) has shared its surprise and concern with the Committee on Climate Change, following reports that the government intends to build 400,000 new homes in the next few years, which may have to be retro-fitted with insulation and other energy saving measures to meet the UK’s carbon saving targets.

Neil Marshall, chief executive of the NIA, said: “If this proposal goes ahead and new homes are not adequately insulated when built, it will mean that these homes will be less energy-efficient. This will result in occupants facing much higher energy bills, which is a major concern given continued rising energy prices and unnecessary additional costs from retrofitting later.”

Mr Marshall continued: “Earlier this year the government scrapped building standards that would have made new houses zero-carbon from next year, without indicating whether new standards would be forthcoming. In addition, it would be a further blow for the home energy-efficiency sector where installation rates for existing homes have plummeted as a result of cuts to the Energy Company Obligation (ECO), the Green Deal, and the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund being ended abruptly without putting in place alternatives.

“In the recent Spending Review, the Chancellor also announced further major funding cuts for the future ECO scheme, meaning that there could be a 78% reduction in the number of households that will receive energy-efficiency improvements over the next five years, compared to the previous Parliament. We would therefore urge a rethink in the energy-efficiency policy for new homes."

The Committee on Climate Change recently published it fifth Carbon Budget, highlighting that if the UK is to meet its targets by the 2030s, insulation would need to be installed in nearly all UK homes where it is cost-effective.