Brighouse roofing specialist and energy expert has urged ministers to do more to encourage householders to make their homes more energy efficient.
Chris Hopkins, managing director of Ploughcroft, made the plea at a meeting with officials from the Department of Energy and Climate Change in Whitehall.
Mr Hopkins, who is a member of the Government’s Green Construction Board, was called in to advise the Government on its Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme.
ECO was introduced a year ago to fund energy efficiency improvements in homes – but has achieved a take-up from consumers of just 1.84% of its target Carbon Emission Reduction Obligation of 20m tonnes – leaving the big six energy companies just 18 months to encourage consumer take up - or to incur stinging penalties.
Mr Hopkins said: “With rising energy prices, many people are once again facing higher home fuel bills this year. I am pressing DECC to allow Room in Roof Insulation (RIRI) to qualify for primary funding. Such insulation can have huge environmental benefits, reducing heat loss and saving carbon tonnes, as well as making cost savings for hard pressed consumers.”
The ECO scheme was introduced for so-called “hard to treat” homes built of stone before 1967. Currently, funding for RIRI can only be given when a primary measure such as external or internal wall insulation is installed first.
But householders are deterred from doing this as it radically alters the appearance of a house and – in the case of internal insulation – is hugely disruptive, said Mr Hopkins.
He said: “On current figures, the Government will fall short of achieving its Energy Climate Obligation and I hope to convince them that RIRI can help them achieve it by demonstrating that RIRI could save 50 lifetime carbon tonnes per home.
“As there are more than 2m homes in Yorkshire alone that would benefit, Government could easily achieve its target and benefit not only people’s pockets, but the environment and create up to 100,000 jobs.”
This latest accolade comes on the back of success at the prestigious Ceramics Industry Annual Health and Safety Pledge Awards when Ploughcroft was awarded the Contractors Award.
“The award recognised Ploughcroft for safety work it completed on more than 3 km of fragile guttering on a factory roof in Middlewich, Cheshire.