Could cavity wall insulation be the next PPI scandal?

Concerns around cavity wall insulation being miss-sold to homeowners in order to meet targets have been raised over the last few years. Those that have been affected have been required to pay out additional costs to have the insulation removed and the damage repaired as a result, leaving them out of pocket.

According to Jeff Howell, a columnist of the Daily Telegraph that helped the issues get debated in parliament, has previously suggested that the cavity wall insulation scandal could rival the PPI scandal.

The Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) scandal centres on consumers being miss-sold the financial product. Those that were affected were able to claim back compensation, with the total banks were forced to pay out totalling millions. The cavity wall insulations scandal could have a similar impact on those companies involved.

Many cavity wall installations are funded by major energy suppliers in an attempt to meet government targets to insulate homes in a bid to reduce energy usage and cut the UK’s carbon footprint. Energy firms that fail to meet their targets face fines and therefore are under pressure to install cavity wall insulation even if the property is not suitable.

While the rise in cavity wall insulations is attributed to the government it is not controlled or regulated by them. An independent inspection of the completed work is required by Ofgem. However, this inspection focuses on the energy saving and takes place just a few weeks after installation when problems can arise years after.

Cavity wall insulation has been likened to PPI for two reasons – the sales tactics and the sale of inappropriate products. Many companies selling the product do so by door-stepping and cold-calling salesmen that are under pressure to sell and therefore put pressure on homeowners too. There have also been many cases where homeowners have been recommended cavity wall insulation despite their property being unsuitable.

If you’ve been affected by problems with cavity wall insulation, whether it’s causing damp within the home or has led to mould growth, it can be removed and in some cases replaced. The problems have affected thousands of homes across the UK and if you have been miss-sold the product you could claim compensation, although it can be a difficult process. If the installer was a member of a professional body you can approach them, the maximum payment for work under the Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency is £20,000.

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