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Insulation

Volume 164: debated on Monday 8 January 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will make cavity wall insulation and double glazing mandatory requirements in building regulations.

No. The thermal insulation standards in the Building Regulations 1985 have recently been upgraded, and we estimate that these amendments will achieve a saving of around 20 per cent. in energy requirements for space and water heating in new houses and other buildings. Cavity wall insulation and double glazing are methods of meeting these requirements, but there are also other ways of doing so. We consider that architects and builders should be allowed the maximum flexibility to choose for themselves whch is the most appropriate way of meeting the higher standards, which are due to come into force on 1 April.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will update his Department's 1985 estimates of the amount needed to be spent on the insulation of local authority houses in England and generally on heating, insulation and works to remedy condensation.

The Department's most recent estimate of the amount needed to be spent on the insulation of local authority houses in England is £880 million, and on heating, insulation and works to remedy condensation £3,100 million. These figures are based on analysis of the 1986 English house condition survey. They are at 1984 prices and therefore comparable with the Department's estimates reported in 1985.