EnergyLink Ltd. Welcome Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) Extension

The Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) is an obligation on all Energy Suppliers with more than 50,000 customers to reduce carbon emissions in domestic households. The scheme came into effect in April 2008 and was due to end in March 2011. The obligation falls on six main Energy Suppliers: British Gas, NPower, E.ON, EDF, Scottish Power and Scottish & Southern Energy.

There are several ways in which carbon emissions can be reduced including heating, lighting, appliances and micro-generation. However, the most effective measure is Home Insulation which has accounted for 62% of the overall savings made since CERT began. Loft Insulation and Cavity Wall Insulation in particular account for the vast majority of the installations.

The Energy Suppliers involved in CERT provide grants for Loft & Cavity Wall Insulation. Home owners and private tenants can apply directly to a supplier who will allocate them to an insulation company in their area. Alternatively, customers can apply to an installer who will then claim the grant back from an Energy Supplier or a Managing Agent acting on their behalf. Council and Housing Association tenants can also benefit from insulation grants, although they should apply directly to their housing provider.

Since June 2007, EnergyLink Ltd. have been helping customers gain access to insulation grant funding by referring them to an approved installer in their local area. This service also benefits insulation installers by reducing the marketing costs associated with attracting new customers.

As CERT was due to end in March 2011, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) ran a consultation from December 2009 to March 2010 to gather feedback on the proposal to extend CERT up to the end of December 2012. Once the consultation closed, details were finalised and announced last week. The extension is now subject to parliamentary approval which it is hoped will take place before the summer recess.

The extension means that a further 3.5 million homes in the UK could benefit from Home Insulation. The DECC press release entitled “Insulation for the nation – 3.5 million more homes to be lagged” states that 68% of carbon reduction is to be achieved through Loft, Cavity and Solid Wall Insulation. When combined with DIY installation, this increases the total to 80%.

An EnergyLink spokesperson commented that “the CERT extension is extremely good news for millions of households and will bring huge benefits to the environment and the insulation industry. It is refreshing to see that CERT has escaped the recent Government spending cuts and with the correct backing and promotion, the extension could prove to be even more popular and beneficial than the original scheme”.

EnergyLink Ltd. Can be found at http://www.energylink.org.uk