New BEIS figures show plummet in residential energy market

New statistics published by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy confirm just how comprehensively the marketplace for residential energy efficiency has dropped in the last three years.

They also reveal that, despite deliberately switching prioritisation only to those in fuel poverty, the precipitate decline in the overall level of activity is even leading to a serious reduction, by over two-thirds, in the absolute number of such households now being helped each month.

These alarming figures can be found among the detailed appendices of the BEIS Household Energy Efficiency National Statistics, issued last month. These give details for the numbers of measures installed, as well as homes improved, each month for the past four years.

The programmes covered predominantly involve the Energy Company Obligation, cashback schemes and Green Deal Finance Plans. During the three most recent months for which statistics are available, some 64,404 energy-saving measures were installed across the UK. This can be contrasted with the totals of 222,879 and 251,222 measures recorded as installed during the third and fourth quarters of 2013/14.

Among the main measures notified, 35 per cent were cavity wall insulation, 24 per cent loft insulation and 23 per cent were for boiler upgrades. Just 7 per cent involved solid wall insulation – in 2012 deemed to be the Government’s main priority.

The proportion of households benefitting from improvements is falling even more. Whereas in March 2014 just under 80,000 homes were improved, three years later the equivalent figure is down to just 14,700 – a drop of over 80 per cent.

This demonstrates clearly that even the modest commitment in the Conservative’s winning 2015 manifesto- of installing energy efficiency measures in 200,000 homes each year- is nowhere near being fulfilled.

Even though government attention towards the residential sector is being given almost exclusively to seeking to address fuel poverty, the number of households reached under the official “affordable warmth” scheme has dropped from an average of 37,000 per month towards the end of 2013, to just 9,597 homes during February 2017. At this rate, it will be well beyond the end of the century before all homes now deemed to be in fuel poverty will be assisted.

It should be noted that had the energy conservation installations been recorded in such detail in earlier years, like 2011 and 2012, these percentage declines would certainly have been even larger.

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