The SNP’s Home Insulation Scheme cost a staggering £1,600 per insulation job done, according to analysis published today by the Scottish Greens using figures published by the Energy Saving Trust. Introduced in 2009 following the collapse of the Scottish Budget, the SNP allocated £15m a year to the scheme, using the failed approach of means-testing which Greens had argued against during the Budget process. A further £10m a year was allocated to a pilot scheme for universal insulation in 2010 – the analysis below does not cover this work.

Over the two years from April 2009, just 3,146 properties across Scotland received cavity wall insulation, full loft insulation was installed in just 1,727 properties, and a further 13,022 properties received top-ups to their existing loft insulation through the Home Insulation Scheme. This average cost of £1,600 is almost five times more expensive than a universal scheme delivered by Green Councillors in Kirklees: a project which cost an average of just £323 for cavity wall and loft insulation jobs.

According to the 2007 Scottish House Condition Survey, 658,000 Scots homes still needed cavity wall insulation, and at the rate the work was carried out under the SNP scheme, this work would take more than 200 years. A total of 1.4m Scots homes had either no loft insulation or needed existing insulation topped up: again, at the rate of work achieved by the SNP scheme it would be almost 100 years before this aspect of the work was complete.

The Scottish Greens will tomorrow launch one of the party’s three key election pledges: proposals for a £100m a year universal insulation scheme, covering free loft and cavity wall work delivered area-by-area as well as soft loans for more expensive work on homes, repayable only when the property is sold.

Patrick Harvie said:

“This ridiculously expensive and slow insulation scheme from the SNP is the one we voted against during 2009’s Budget process, and this evidence has clearly vindicated our decision. The SNP’s approach would take twenty times as long to complete the job, and it has proved almost five times more expensive than the successful Green scheme delivered by Kirklees Council.

“Insulating every home in Scotland remains the most cost-effective way to cut fuel bills, to tackle climate change and fuel poverty, and to boost jobs in the construction sector. The SNP approach has poured money away in substantial quantities, but the Green approach gets the job done cheaply and efficiently. Securing a proper insulation scheme will be one of our top priorities in the next session of Parliament.”

Figures showing 17,895 total jobs done from the Energy Saving Trust.

At this rate, time to complete the work would be:
Cavity wall insulation: 209 years
Loft insulation: 95 years

The Kirklees scheme cost £20m and delivered 62,000 jobs for an average cost of £323, with half the cost met by utility companies.