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Energy suppliers’ insulation grants don’t add up

High prices found for wall and loft insulation

Blown fibre insulation

You’ll need to employ a professional to install blown-fibre insulation in your loft

New research by Which? has found big differences in the prices charged by energy suppliers for ‘subsidised’ loft insulation and cavity wall insulation.

Energy suppliers are supposed to help you meet the costs of these energy-saving measures to help you cut your bills and carbon footprint. But Which? has discovered British Gas, EDF, Sainsbury’s, Scottish Power and Tesco are charging house-holders substantially more than their competitors.

Shop around

The government assumes that energy companies will pay 65% of the cost of cavity wall insulation and 58% of loft insulation, but only 3 of the 8 firms we looked at – Eon, Npower and Scottish and Southern Energy – did this. These 3 all charged under £150 for loft insulation – British Gas, EDF, Sainsbury’s, Scottish Power and Tesco charged between £198 and £250.

Concerns about energy saving scheme

The Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) is the scheme paid for by consumers through their energy bills that allows energy suppliers to offer free or subsidised energy efficiency products, like insulation.

Which? senior policy advisor, Dr Fiona Cochrane said: ‘We have a number of concerns about CERT, particularly that a lack of financial monitoring makes it impossible to know how much money suppliers are spending on it.

‘We all pay for CERT – the average household puts in £45 a year through their bills – so we need to be confident that we’re getting value for money, and the scheme is structured in a way to deliver energy saving measures that benefit consumers, not energy suppliers.’

Energy saving light bulbs

Check out our recent news story and advice guide feature on free energy saving light bulbs from your energy supplier to find out how your cash is helping energy firms meet their Carbon Emissions Reductions Target (CERT) and avoid fines.

Lower your gas and electricity bills

You can compare energy prices and switch to a new gas and electricity supplier on Which? Switch. People who switched with us between 1 October and 31 December 2013 are predicted to save an average of £234 a year on their bills.

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