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The OFT closed on 31 March 2014 and this website is no longer being updated. The OFT's work and responsibilities have passed to a number of different bodies. Read more.

Home insulation call for evidence

Start date: 3 April 2012
End date: 1 November 2012

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Summary of work

In April 2012 we launched a call for evidence on the home insulation market. This was triggered by the high level of consumer complaints about home insulation and concerns that competition in the market may not be working well. It was intended as a quick review ahead of the introduction of the Government's Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation (ECO) policies, which could increase the take-up of energy efficiency measures.

We published our findings on 1 August and on 1 November published a summary of responses from industry and government addressing our key recommendations.

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Our findings

Some of the main themes from the responses to the call for evidence were:

Quality and suitability of insulation: some consumers told us that some traders are not always installing the most suitable form of insulation. For example, inappropriate materials may be used in houses that are susceptible to damp.

Redress: people can find it difficult to obtain quick and effective redress when things go wrong.

Certification of insulation products: we received complaints about the length of time it can take for new products to be approved for use in the market. This may act as a constraint on entry and innovation.

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Our conclusions and recommendations

Quality and suitability of insulation: the OFT has recommended that the Government should ensure a single body has clear responsibility for longer-term monitoring of the quality of installations carried out under the Green Deal and ECO initiatives.

Redress: the OFT has proposed changes to improve redress schemes, including greater transparency about complaints and changes to the governance of bodies that provide redress, so that consumers are represented as well as industry.

Certification of insulation products and concentration: to lower the barriers for manufacturers trying to develop innovative new products and encourage greater competition and choice in the market, the OFT has recommended that product certification bodies improve their certification processes. It is also encouraging architects, building control officers and other building project commissioners to be more open to specifying products from more than one UK product certification body.

The OFT has also published a review of the energy efficiency sector to encourage good business practice and greater consumer awareness.

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Related documents

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Contacts

Team Leader (Home Insulation Call for Evidence and investigation): George Brenton (020 7211 8327), george.brenton@oft.gsi.gov.uk)

Team Leader (Consumer Protection Review): Adam Maxfield (020 7211 8147, adam.maxfield@oft.gsi.gov.uk)

Senior Responsible Officer: Nisha Arora (020 7211 8853, nisha.arora@oft.gsi.gov.uk)

Project Director: Mike Lambourne (020 7211 8568, mike.lambourne@oft.gsi.gov.uk)

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Media enquiries

Any media enquiries should be directed to a member of our Press Office.




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