Knauf Insulation has thrown its support behind calls for the government to rethink its Energy Company Obligation (ECO) policy.

Centrica’s chief executive, Sam Laidlaw, told the Financial Times earlier this month that the ECO scheme is more expensive and less effective than its predecessor, the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT).

Last week John Sinfield, managing director of Knauf Insulation Northern Europe, said: “While it’s important to recognise that ECO and CERT are very different animals, Sam Laidlaw raises a crucial question when he asks whether this is actually the most cost effective way to reduce emissions.  The Government needs to take a long hard look at the Green Deal and ECO and question whether they really are delivering what is required.

“The simple fact is that DECC’s own statistics show there are 5.3 million cavity walls and 7.4 million lofts still to be insulated in the UK, and yet the Green Deal and ECO figures issued in July revealed that only 39,000 cavity walls and 57,400 lofts have been tackled under the scheme so far.

“Even more disturbingly, the figures also showed that of the 3,449 Green Deal cashback vouchers paid up to the end of June, only four were for cavity wall insulation and nine for loft insulation.  This leaves a huge number of cost effective and quick-win measures unfilled, which is a shocking wasted opportunity.

“The government must accept that the Green Deal is not delivering these vital low cost measures and should look instead at driving them through under ECO, until the Green Deal can be made attractive enough to appeal to householders.  This is also in the government’s hands and we’ve been calling repeatedly for the introduction of tangible incentives to drive demand, such as linking Stamp Duty to energy efficiency and opening up access to cash backs and incentives for all generic energy efficiency retrofits.”