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INCA calls on government to optimise nationwide retrofit programme

John Sparrow

A built environment trade association representing the External Wall Insulation industry is marking the start of the new calendar year with the launch of three Core Messages to lobby government.

The Insulated Render and Cladding Association (INCA) is rallying for significant retrofit programme change that will support the UK Government’s energy security and carbon reduction strategy to meet NZC targets by 2050.

INCA has represented the External Wall Insulation (EWI) sector for 40 years. Its membership is made up of system designers, specialist installers and key component suppliers. Together, their products and systems provide the benefits of EWI use spanning retrofit initiatives, social housing as well as new build projects.

External wall insulation is regarded as one of the most effective ways to thermally upgrade existing buildings or to construct new buildings with energy efficiency in mind.

INCA exists to promote technical excellence, high quality and best practice throughout the EWI industry, and has launched its trio of ‘calls to action’ to optimise the delivery of an effective nationwide retrofit programme.

In 2024, INCA is calling on the government to:

1: Prioritise a focus on the Fabric First approach:

Prioritise the energy efficiency of a building envelope over all other energy efficiency measures to maximise the positive impact of all current and future retrofit programmes to 2050.

2: Simplify PAS 2035 AND ECO4:

INCA supports the continued simplification and reduction in administrative restrictions to deliver retrofit efficiently and at scale but without compromising quality, compliance or risk.

3: Bring in continuity of funding obligations:

INCA supports the increase of funding timescales from the current four years to a minimum of eight years to head off peaks and troughs between obligations.

Meeting the government’s carbon goals will require the vast majority of the UK’s 27 million homes to be virtually carbon zero by 2050.

John Sparrow, executive director of INCA, said: “We believe taking action on this trifecta of core messages will bring investment into the EWI sector and scale up the delivery of efficient, optimised retrofit systems and processes to make the Government’s Net Zero Carbon goal achievable.

“We’re calling on the government and key sector stakeholders to support our trio of Core Messages. EWI as a Fabric First approach sits at the heart of it, creating greatest bill savings and carbon reduction. When it comes to simplification of PAS 2035 and ECO4, current ECO figures suggest that well under 50p in the £ is spent on the home because of the administrative costs associated.”

Simplification can increase delivery and lower costs, and a funding cycle of eight years for programmes, instead of four, heads off an uneconomical stop/start approach as well as creating greater employment and opportunities in our sector, the organisation said.

Sparrow added: “These three Core Messages together will help ensure residents can benefit from warmer and more energy efficient homes, pivotal in a cost of living crisis, and businesses can operate in buildings with robust energy efficiency performance certificates thanks to the benefits of EWI.”

INCA is the recognised trade association for the External Wall Insulation (EWI) industry representing system designers, specialist installers and key component suppliers. Its vision is the delivery of growth in sustainable fabric performance solutions as the primary focus in combating fuel poverty and protecting the environment, while its mission is to represent and support members of the external wall Insulation industry through technical excellence, effective collaboration, strong communications and member benefits.

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