The insulation trade associations have merged in a key bid to further strengthen the insulation industry and its representation, for the benefit of both the industry and its partner organisations. This has resulted in a strong new single association representing some 95% of the installing capacity within the industry, with a recruitment drive underway to ensure that all qualified installers participate. The new Association has the strong support of the material suppliers and the Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency.
The National Cavity Insulation Association Ltd has changed its name to National Insulation Association Ltd and incorporated the National Association of Loft Insulation Contractors and the Council for Energy Efficiency Development, which has led to the termination by agreement of the later two associations. In addition the Draught Proofing Advisory Association supports the move, recognising that the newly structured association will be responsible for lobbying and liaison regarding the grant schemes for domestic buildings.
The market for insulation contractors has changed considerably over the last few years with the advent of schemes – first the Government national scheme for the vulnerable, now called Warm Front, and more recently the Energy Efficiency Commitment schemes run through the energy suppliers. All require a package of insulation measures to be installed, primarily cavity wall insulation, loft insulation and draught proofing.
Therefore the installing industry now offers a package of these measures and has emerged as an ‘insulation installer’, rather than an installer of just one or two measures. The association will primarily serve installers, but also includes material suppliers for the valuable support and assistance they are able to provide.
Ross Laing, formerly Chairman of the NCIA and now the National Insulation Association, commented: “ In view of the changing market, we need to put our collective strength behind promoting the concept, to Government and other bodies, of the value of installing a package of insulation measures for sound economic reasons. The formation of the new association will provide the industry with collective strength, but will also assist partner organisations, which now have only one insulation association to work with, representing the installation of a package of insulation measures to enable all homes to meet Government fuel poverty and CO2 targets. These measures need to be installed by a recognised specialist insulation installer, ideally a member of the National Insulation Association.”
Ross Laing, managing director of Homewarm Ltd, has been Chairman of the NCIA in recent years, and an installer in the industry for nearly 30 years. Now the chairman of the National Insulation Association, he is supported by Fergus Comiskey, of Kershaw Ltd, previously Vice Chairman of the NCIA, who takes over the same role with NIA, and an interim Council comprised of the previous Councils of NCIA, CEED, NALIC and DPAA. Elections are underway and the new NIA Council will be in place following the Association’s AGM on December 17.
The Association will be responsible for policy making decisions that affect the future of the industry. As it has a large Council it will operate primarily through working sub-groups. Initially these cover Strategy - the longterm planning – Chaired by Ian Hopkinson, of KnaufAlcopor Ltd; Marketing – responsible for promoting the Association and its members to main customers and conveying industry views on national marketing to funders – Chaired by Mitchell Gee, of Rockwool Ltd; and Operational – specifically tasked with day-to-day operational matters related to the Schemes and liaison with Scheme managers - Chaired by Alan Douglas, British Gypsum-Isover Ltd.
The forerunner of the NCIA was originally founded in 1973 to promote cavity wall insulation, and played a major part in it’s take-up by government and customers generally; NALIC was formed in 1979 and has been instrumental in getting the depth for loft insulation raised to 250mm within Building Regulations and Schemes; and the Council for Energy Efficiency Development was established in 1994 and has assisted in raising the profile of energy efficiency through its successful annual conferences, supported by government participants. The NIA recognises the very considerable work undertaken by these associations and this will continue through the single association, It also recognises the tremendous work undertaken by Jerry Robson in his role of Chairing the two associations, NALIC since 1986, and CEED since its formation. He also played a key role in Chairing the meetings that culminated in the formation of the NIA. The Draught Proofing Advisory Association continues primarily as a manufacturers’ association, with a particular brief to promote to the commercial and industrial market.
The NIA provides a ‘one stop-shop’ technical and consumer advisory service with literature and technical data on the insulation measures represented by its members, and maintains and publishes a Register of materials and recognised installers, which also appears on its website.
The Secretariat of the former associations takes over the responsibility of the National Insulation Association under the leadership of Gillian Allder, who becomes Director of the National Insulation Association.