Insulation Talk - February 2015
Welcome to our InsulationTalk e-bulletin. We hope you find our news informative and useful on keeping you up to date on our progress within product development and manufacturing as well as the latest news within the industry.
In this issue....
- Improving Energy Efficiency in Local Councils
- Knauf Insulation launches new Loft Storage System
- Warm efficient homes are a no brainer, 'everyone says so!'
- Knauf Insulation is Fitter Friendly at the Hardware Show
- Round up of Energy Bill Revolution's Cold Homes Week
- Sponsors of the Green Deal and ECO Regional Awards
Improving Energy Efficiency in Local Councils
‘Energy Efficiency: How to enhance local authority strategies’ was the topic for the Guardian Public Leaders Network seminar, held Thursday 12 February, which sought to explore best practice and barriers for councils trying to reduce energy bills across the board. In conjunction with Knauf Insulation, the seminar also considered the findings from the Local Authority Energy Index, which measures the local energy and energy efficiency agendas of councils in England.
John Alker, Director of Policy and Communications & Interim CEO at UKGBC, set out the direction of the event with an address that recognised those local authorities that were leading in the area of energy efficiency and how they can play a key role in this within government. However, John warned that the challenge for the next elected party would be the consistency and longevity of policy approach: “Energy efficiency must be viewed as a national infrastructure priority.”
The esteemed panel consisted of Malcolm Ball, Director Energy Efficiency at UK Green Investment Bank, Ian Hutchcroft Head of Local Delivery, Energy Saving Trust, Tim Pryce Head of Public Sector, The Carbon Trust, Sarah Sims Program Manager – Housing at Bristol City Council and Steven Heath, Director of Public Affairs and Strategy at Knauf Insulation.
The need for benchmarking across councils, the sharing of best practice and having robust measurement in place to build an effective business case - and therefore safeguarding support from the top levels in councils, were conclusive themes realised from the discussions in terms of tackling energy efficiency in local areas.
During the seminar, discussion groups debated the latest policy developments, how to maximise the benefits of energy efficiency measures and the need for government – and in particular cross-party support and commitment to realistic, long term plans for energy efficient homes. Only then will real changes come for the millions of people struggling with unaffordable energy bills.
Steven Heath, said: “It was great to engage with so many people across such a wide spectrum of issues. They were all passionate about confronting the challenges that exist for councils trying to reduce energy bills for residents, businesses and their own estates. It was also extremely beneficial to gather so much feedback on where the Local Authority Energy Index might go from here.”
The full seminar round up has featured in the Guardian newspaper and live on the Guardian Public Leaders Network. For more information on the Local Authority Energy Index please visit www.laenergyindex.co.uk.
Knauf Insulation launches new Loft Storage System
Well now you can with the new Loft Storage System from Knauf Insulation.
The key feature of the system is the use of the new Polyfoam EcoBeam. This is a thermally engineered composite of 180mm thick high performance extruded polystyrene (XPS). The XPS is sandwiched between two layers of 22mm thick Oriented Strand Board to give a rigid, lighweight but robust platform on which to lay your loft decking boards. The EcoBeams are 224mm high, 2400mm long and 50mm wide.
100mm Earthwool Loft Roll is installed in between and up to the full height of the ceiling joists as normal. Polyfoam EcoBeam is then installed and fixed with screws at right angles to the ceiling joists. This allows you to then install 170mm of Earthwool Loft Roll, in between the EcoBeams to give a complete insulation layer with no gaps.
Once the insulation layer is complete, you can lay standard loft decking boards on top of the EcoBeams to give a firm base for storage.
The 224mm height of the EcoBeam ensures you have a full 50mm airspace above the insulation. This ensures that moisture is not trapped underneath the loft decking boards.
In addition, this total insulation thickness of 270mm allows you to achieve a U -value of 0.16 W/m2K and comply with Building Regulations.
So what does the new Loft Storage System give you?
- A thermally efficient means of insulating your loft to current standards
- A quick and easy to install secure platform for your loft decking boards
- A vital airspace above the insulation to stop moisture build up
- No need for specialist fittings
- Suitable for any joist spacing
- Cost effective means of improving your property’s energy efficiency whilst giving ample storage
Phil Rigby, Glass Product Manager (Residential Refurbishment) at Knauf Insulation, commented: “Many householders are putting off topping up their loft insulation because they don’t want to lose storage space or think that it’s going to be an additional hassle and expense to install loft storage afterwards. Our system simplifies the whole process by installing the insulation and storage deck all at once, which ultimately saves time, effort and money.”
 Research conducted by Conduit Partners
Warm efficient homes are a no brainer
‘Everyone says so!’ is not the right reason to make warm efficient homes a priority. The right reason to improve our homes – the infrastructure in which we live – is that they have a huge and recognised impact upon our health and the way that we live, work and learn.
There is, however, an outbreak of consensus too. And this consensus is clear that providing warm efficient homes to all is, whether in economic, social or environmental terms, a no brainer.
“… out of all 27 Member States, the UK ranks 26th … Only Estonia had a higher incidence of ‘energy poverty’ at 19.7%”
The Cold Man of Europe – Association for the Conservation of Energy, March 2013
“Low-income working-age households have lost the most as a percentage of their income from tax and benefit changes introduced by the coalition”
Institute for Fiscal Studies, January 2015
The IFS report goes on to emphasise that people at both the top and the bottom of the income spectrum have been hit by current measures. However, the UK has a specific problem with homes that perform below average in cold weather, and those least able to act on the condition of that housing have been some of the hardest hit by current austerity.
You can read the rest of Josh's entry by visiting our Built on Performance blog. We also have an accompanying infographic which explains that warm homes need to be an infrastructure priority, with cross party support if we are to bring about change.
Knauf Insulation is Fitter Friendly at the Hardware Show
On the 15 and 16 February, Knauf Insulation showcased its new fitter friendly Earthwool®OmniFit range on stand A8 at The Hardware Show in Dublin.
Throughout the two-day event, merchants and installers were able to get hands-on with Knauf Insulation’s brand new multi-purpose insulation range. It providesoutstanding thermal, acoustic and fire performance across three products: Earthwool OmniFit Slab, OmniFit Roll and OmniFit Stud.
Bryan Stone, Sales Director for Ireland at Knauf Insulation, commented: “Following extensive research with builders, contractors and insulation specialists, it revealed some startling results. Of 225 installers surveyed, 89 per cent said they would be keen to trial an alternative product to existing flexible slabs and rock mineral wool rolls. That is if it meant handling would be easier and the products would be softer to touch. We realised that we had to fill this gap and therefore developed the new Earthwool OmniFit insulation range.
“Each product has been specifically designed to provide compliance with Building Regulations. This gives merchants and their customers complete peace of mind. The range includes more material per pallet than alternatives, meaning more material in the storage space allocated. Furthermore, there is a comprehensive marketing campaign from Knauf Insulation to fully help and support merchants in their offering to customers.”
Football fanatic visitors to Knauf Insulation’s stand had the chance to enter its latest competition, to win two tickets to this season’s El Clasico, including flights and accommodation for two people.
For more information please visit www.fitterfriendly.co.uk.
Round up of Energy Bill Revolution's Cold Homes Week
Knauf Insulation supported Cold Homes Week, a public campaign to end fuel poverty, which took place between 2 to 6 February. The week, organised by the Energy Bill Revolution – an alliance of 170 major charities, businesses and unions, of which Knauf Insulation is a member – aims to raise awareness about fuel poverty and urges politicians to help make UK homes more energy efficient.
The Cold Homes Week of Action was a huge success. The highlights included:
- #coldhomesweek reached Twitter feeds 58 million times (there are only 16 million Twitter users in the UK)
- Thousands of people have been taking action; from visiting their MP in person to posting selfies on social media in their scarves
- 254 MPs are now supporting the campaign
- When supporters got involved, 600,000 Twitter accounts were reached every 30 mins
Further information regarding the Energy Bill Revolution and Cold Homes Week can be found at http://www.energybillrevolution.org/
Sponsors of the Green Deal and ECO Regional Awards
Knauf Insulation is pleased to announce that it is the official sponsor of the Energy Efficiency Champion of the Year category , at this year’s Green Deal and ECO Regional Awards.
Knauf Insulation takes its social and environmental responsibilities seriously and greatly recognises individuals that drive their passion and dedication to completing energy efficiency programmes. As such, we thought it would be appropriate to sponsor the Energy Efficiency Champion of the Year category, to say thank you to all those who work hard to make energy efficiency a priority.
The Energy Efficiency Champion of the Year award recognises the contribution an individual has made towards the promotion of Energy Efficiency within their geographical agenda.
Good luck and well done to everyone who has been shortlisted.
The regional awards will be taking place from the 24 February right through to the 19 March. To view the list of award dates please click here.
 Knauf Insulation is sponsoring the Energy Efficiency Champion of the Year category in all of the regional awards apart from the North West Haydock Awards.