Insulation industry report puts emphasis on customer protection

Published:  01 August, 2012

The report on the operation of the home insulation market from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has been welcomed by government and the Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency (CIGA).

The report, published on 1 August, considers how the market for home insulation currently operates and makes recommendations on how it could be improved in the future, with a focus on consumer protection.

It highlights the need for householders having work such as Cavity Wall Insulation (CWI) installed to be safeguarded by a guarantee and recognises the new, stronger protections for consumers being put in place under the Green Deal.

CIGA provides the 25-year guarantee for CWI fitted by registered installers in the UK and Channel islands, as an important source of redress for consumers on the extremely rare occasion that they experience any problems.

Gerry Miller, Chief Executive of CIGA said: “Although the incidence of claims is extremely low, it is very important to CIGA that guarantee holders get a fast and satisfactory experience when entering the claim process. The issues highlighted by the OFT had already been identified by CIGA and steps have been taken to address the points raised. This will help consumer experience and will ensure CIGA’s readiness to support the upcoming Green Deal and ECO schemes later this year.”

The range of Green Deal consumer protections that have been put in place includes a new Green Deal Oversight Body and clear information so customers know what they are signing up to, including two initial energy assessments, warranties and all permissions to be sought in writing before work is undertaken

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: "I welcome this report from the OFT, which highlights a number of important issues with the home insulation market. It shows that people are not always being well served by the current setup. That is why consumers are at the very heart of the Green Deal, which will enable people to save energy and money.

"I am pleased that the OFT recognises the efforts we are putting into the Green Deal to ensure it delivers the best deal for consumers, and I look forward to working with them to see how we can make it even better."

A similar approach is being put in place for Solid Wall Insulation.