A trade association representing the external wall insulation (EWI) industry is calling on the UK government to back an effective nationwide retrofit programme.
The Insulated Render & Cladding Association (INCA) is rallying with three core messages for significant retrofit programme change that it says will support the government’s energy security and carbon reduction strategy to meet net zero carbon targets by 2050.
INCA has represented the EWI sector for 40 years. Its membership is made up of system designers, specialist installers, and key component suppliers. Together, their products and systems provide the benefits of EWI use spanning retrofit initiatives in social housing as well as new build projects.
John Sparrow, INCA’s executive director, said: “We believe taking action on [our] trifecta of core messages will bring investment into the EWI sector, and scale up the delivery of efficient, optimised retrofit systems and processes to make the government’s net zero carbon goal achievable.
“We’re calling on the government and key sector stakeholders to support our trio of core messages. EWI as a Fabric First approach sits at the heart of it, creating greatest bill savings and carbon reduction.”
The organisation’s three core message for government in 2024 are:
1: Prioritise a focus on the Fabric First approach: Prioritise the energy efficiency of a building envelope over all other energy efficiency measures to maximise the positive impact of all current and future retrofit programmes to 2050
2: Simplify PAS 2035 AND ECO4: INCA supports the continued simplification and reduction in administrative restrictions to deliver retrofit efficiently and at scale but without compromising quality, compliance or risk
3: Bring in continuity of funding obligations: INCA supports the increase of funding timescales from the current four years to a minimum of eight years to head off peaks and troughs between obligations.
External wall insulation is regarded as one of the most effective ways to thermally upgrade existing buildings or to construct new buildings with energy efficiency in mind.
INCA exists to promote technical excellence, high quality, and best practice throughout the EWI industry, and has launched this trio of ‘calls to action’ to optimise the delivery of an effective nationwide retrofit programme.
Meeting the government’s carbon goals will require the vast majority of the UK’s 27 million homes to be virtually carbon zero by 2050, the organisation says
Sparrow added: “When it comes to simplification of PAS 2035 and ECO4, current ECO figures suggest that well under 50p in the pound is spent on the home because of the administrative costs associated. Simplification can increase delivery and lower costs. And a funding cycle of eight years for programmes, instead of four, heads off an uneconomical stop/start approach as well as creating greater employment and opportunities in our sector.
“These three core messages together will help ensure residents can benefit from warmer and more energy efficient homes, pivotal in a cost of living crisis, and businesses can operate in buildings with robust energy efficiency performance certificates thanks to the benefits of EWI.”
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