House of Commons Library

Q&A: Cavity Wall Insulation

Published Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Cavity wall insulation is an effective way to improve energy efficiency with the potential to reduce bills and carbon emissions, and the majority of installations occur without issue. However, the Library is aware of reports of constituent interest in CWI and the issue is raised in Parliament regularly. This briefing has been published to support these reasons and outlines some of the ways issues can be resolved.

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Cavity wall insulation (CWI) can improve energy efficiency and lower customer bills and as such has been encouraged by several Government schemes. For more information about insulation and other Government energy schemes, see the Library briefing paper on Help with Energy Bills.

Although the majority of installations are successful, in cases where CWI is installed incorrectly, or in unsuitable properties, it can lead to damp. Customers who have problems with CWI should first try and resolve the issues with the original installer. When the issue cannot be resolved, or the installer has gone into liquidation, the customer can check if they have a guarantee, such as with the Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency (CIGA). Guarantee agencies should assess damage and find a resolution; there is an independent arbitrator for CIGA decisions.

In some cases, consumers with a CWI issue may be able bring a claim for misrepresentation or breach of contract or under specific consumer protection legislation. Much would depend on the terms of any written agreement, representations made, and the facts of the case. Professional legal advice should be sought.

The issue of poorly installed CWI causing damp and mould has previously been raised in Parliament. The Each Home Counts review was published in December 2016 and looks into home energy efficiency schemes. There is no Government compensation scheme for problems with CWI.

Concerned constituents may wish to contact the Energy Saving Trust, Citizens Advice, or seek professional legal advice.

Cavity wall insulation is an effective way to improve energy efficiency with the potential to reduce bills and carbon emissions, and the majority of installations occur without issue. However, the Library is aware of reports of constituent interest in CWI and the issue is raised in Parliament regularly. This briefing has been published to support these reasons and outlines some of the ways issues can be resolved. However, this is general information rather than specific advice for an individual.

Commons Briefing papers CBP-8471

Authors: Suzanna Hinson; Lorraine Conway

Topics: Consumers, Energy, Energy conservation, Standards

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