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Building Products October 2017

DAMP PROOFING, SEALANTS AND ADHESIVES DEAL WITH DAMP BEFORE YOU INSULATE With reforms to the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme being announced in the spring, Hudson Lambert considers the implications in the context of Cavity and External Wall Insulation. Designed to help reduce carbon emissions or amplify existing, damp problems and waste thousands of pounds in potentially harmful works. While EWI is an effective way of cutting energy costs, it can – in the absence of a proper survey and subsequent treatment – make existing damp problems very much worse by simply trapping it inside the walls, and driving it into a building’s interior. By covering the external surface of the wall, moisture will be prevented from escaping through evaporation. This evaporation results in the telltale OCTOBER 2017 | BUILDING PRODUCTS 67 and tackle fuel poverty, the Government energy efficiency Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme has been revised for 2017-2018 and there are new considerations for measures installed from April 1. Prior to the election, Jesse Norman, then minister for energy and industry, announcing reforms to the ECO scheme (now technically known as ECO2t), said: “The Government is committed to tackling fuel poverty, and a key part of that is to help people keep bills down by living in more energy efficient homes”. This ‘commitment’ and the reforms to ECO mean that whereas previously 36% of ECO funds were spent on reducing fuel poverty, 70% of ECOs are now allocated to that task. Admittedly, this is not quite so impressive when we note that the annual value of ECOs has fallen from £1.3bn per year in 2013, when the scheme first started, to an estimated £640m a year now – so that the amount spent on fuel poverty will be less. The scheme ‘obligation’ has two distinct elements: the Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation and Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation, also known as ‘Affordable Warmth’ – both of which encompass various types of wall insulation as “primary measures” to meet them. However, while the reforms mean that some of the ECO funding continues to target such ‘primary measures’ on properties that would be benefit from solid wall or cavity insulation, even if ‘hardto treat’; such cases now receive a smaller piece of a much smaller pie. The minimum number of External Wall Insulation (EWI) installations that must be delivered has fallen from 25,000 to 21,000 – and it would have been less, had the industry not protested during the consultation period. The hope was that ECO schemes would pump prime the EWI industry, so that it could continue to offer signs that lead to the detection of rising damp, good value solutions to the public. especially as the condition can be hidden and, However, with 21,000 EWI installations mooted, care must still be taken not to create new, Continued on page 68 >>>


Building Products October 2017
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