With the launch of the government’s new Green Homes Grant scheme just weeks away, one question that has yet to be answered, according to Neil Marshall, head of Insulation Alliances of England, Scotland and Wales, is does the industry capacity exist to deliver the measures needed?
According to Neil, external wall insulation (EWI) is expected to account for a large proportion of the Green Homes Grant scheme, potentially requiring 100,000 installations between October and the end of March 2021, which is the equivalent to 200,000 in a year.
However, the total capacity of the EWI industry has long been recognised as around 50,000 installations a year, says Neil, a quarter of what is needed for the Green Homes Grant scheme. In addition, Neil says that not all of the available capacity can be channelled into the scheme as the EWI sector is carrying out other work, including:
- Scottish and Welsh government schemes
- A £200 million Local Authority Delivery Programme
- Rectifying high rise flats linked to the Grenfell Tower incident.
So, how will the industry achieve this huge increase in capacity and what can the government do to support it? “At present the Green Homes Grant scheme is understood to require all installations to be completed by the end of March 2021. However, the government could allow installations to run over into the next financial year, as well as allocate a percentage of the £1.5 billion fund to the industry for recruitment and training purposes,” said Neil.
“The Green Homes Grant scheme provides a tremendous opportunity for householders and industry, and it would be a huge disappointment if this cannot be fully realised due to a lack of installation capacity,” concluded Neil.