Member Debate under Standing Order 11.21(iv): Cavity wall insulation
Gareth Bennett AM
Party: United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP)
Spoken Contribution – 14:35:38
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Thanks to Mick Antoniw and the other various Members who were responsible for bringing today’s debate. I think we’re not going to have as much media interest in this debate as in the previous one, but it is an important subject, especially to householders who’ve suffered from poorly installed cavity wall insulation, or CWI. Now, Mick, in his well-researched speech, which opened today’s debate, highlighted many of the problems in securing compensation for poor installations, partly because of the lack of teeth of CIGA, and he hinted at possible conflicts of interest with CIGA and its connections to the industry in general. Siân Gwenllian was talking about the consequent health issues that can arise with poorly installed CWI, so I think that there is a case for us to try and push, here, for anything that would help redress the situation. So, there is a case for greater consumer protection and for better standards across the industry.
Properly installed CWI should make a strong contribution towards tackling the problem of fuel poverty, as David Melding spoke about in his contribution. He quoted a figure of £150 of savings. I’ve got a figure coming from the Energy Saving Trust, which estimates that £225 can be saved annually on fuel bills in an average detached house through properly installed CWI. Because of these kinds of savings, an average household can recoup the installation cost, potentially, within four years. We are keen, in UKIP, to deal effectively with fuel poverty, so this is a positive measure that we could back, and we do. Another major benefit is in cutting down on carbon dioxide emissions, so an improvement in the CWI industry would also have a positive effect on the environment. And, as you’ll all be aware, UKIP is always keen on policies that benefit the environment, so we support today’s motion.