Britons insulate for winter as Huhne turns up heat on ‘Big 6’

Energy bills can be cut by more than £100 a year if adequate levels of loft and cavity wall insulation are installed.

But Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne has also warned the "Big 6" energy suppliers that they are at risk of missing the Government’s tough home energy efficiency targets and need to double their insulation rates.

With winter approaching and bills set to increase, Huhne said: "More and more people realise that insulation can save you money and make your home cosier.

"More than £100 can be knocked off your bill if you get your loft lagged and cavity walls filled and thanks to tough government targets for the Big 6 energy companies, consumers can get free or discounted insulation.

"People should call the Energy Saving Trust for advice on how they can save money on their bills and protect themselves from rising energy prices.

"But these stats also show that energy companies need to pull their finger out and get on with offering even more energy saving help to British households. The companies have made good progress to date and we want them to succeed, but they are going to have to accelerate their lagging rates if they’re each going to hit their targets by the end of the next year."

Energy companies were told by the Coalition in July 2010 to increase the help they make available to people to insulate their homes. Around 3.5 million homes are set to benefit by December 2012 as a result of the tougher Carbon Emissions Reduction Target.

It is estimated that companies will have to double their monthly professionally installed insulation rate from the average 100,000 a month seen since last year to some 200,000 if they are to meet the insulation target.

And to make sure the target to help those at most risk of fuel poverty is met (the Priority Group), companies will have to increase the rate from an average 5000 installations a month to 18,000 a month.

The statistics show that as part of the CERT scheme, there has been:

* A 21% increase in the number of professionally installed insulation compared with the same quarter last year;
* 13% more DIY loft insulation installed compared with the same quarter last year.

People wanting advice on insulating their homes should call the Energy Saving Trust on 0800 512 0132 to find out about the latest local offers on insulation that are available.

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