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It's much cheaper than the other eco insulation options such as recycled newspaper, sheeps' wool and the recycled denim options sad geek that I am, I got costings for all those at my old flat and they're all pricey.

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It's also made from 85 per cent recycled plastic bottles, so you can feel smug at a double eco hit. You're encouraging recycling and there's less 'embodied energy' - the carbon required to make it in the first place - than you'll find in glass mineral.

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I've laid out 4 rolls so far and it's dead easy to use and doesn't require full duty goggles and mask, though I'd recommend using those if you're laying it over old glass mineral layers. The rolls I bought are mm thick, which I'm cross-laying over old mm insulation, which should take me just over the government's recommended thickness in total.

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As they say, phone ahead to avoid disappointment. Update: from the packaging - the thermal conductivity of the mm stuff is 0. Thermal resistance is 4. There's no explainer of what the remaining 15 per cent is - I suspect, judging from the feel of the material, possibly glass mineral wool.

October 11, 2007

Reading the small print, I see that the stuff is made by ThermaWrap , though it bizarrely has no mention of Eco Wool on its site. Do you have any other data on this - I don't get any useful hits on this on the web.

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Posted by: Neil October 12, at AM. Hi Neil - I'll post this up shortly. The packaging includes the thermal rating, and I have a sneaky feeling the final 15 per cent isn't listed. Posted by: Adam October 12, at PM.

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BTW i would always check the manufacturers figures for thermal resistance etc. Retailers have a habit of posting the wrong data on their web sites.

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The thermal value of 0. Eco-Wool just doesnt itch. We are in the process of insulating our very awkward loft space with eco-wool which is totally brilliant to unroll etc. Posted by: jenny mollison October 26, at AM. Got the delivery of eco-wool today and have to wait until next week for the electrician to update the loft wiring before installing, so can't help you yet Jenny. I also found it better to lay one of the layers first and get that correct, then lay the second.

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But it might be easier to do this for my home because of all the custom frames and woodwork it's an oldish building. Cutting carbon emissions from homes and commercial buildings will be an essential part of this process.

Thirteen per cent of the UK's carbon emissions come from heating and hot water for our homes, which is mostly gas-fired. A further 20 per cent comes from our workplaces. Under government plans, those who take out a green deal loan would see a 'green deal charge' on their energy bills. If the property is sold or the tenant moves out, the payments are continued by the incoming bill payer. A loan would only be available if the expected savings can be shown to be greater than the costs attached to the energy bill.

Independent, accredited advisers would assess what work should be done to a property and the likely savings that would arise, while the work itself, such as installing insulation and double glazing, would also be done by properly qualified and accountable companies.


Ed Matthew points out that the scale of the task and the sums of money involved are huge. Although loft insulation is cheap and usually pays for itself within a year, other items such as insulation for the walls and under-floor areas, double glazing and some renewable energy generation such as solar thermal for hot water or solar PV for electricity, are much more expensive.

He believes virtually all of the UK's 26 millions homes need substantial refurbishment work. That means the Green Deal would have to achieve , home refurbishments a year, every year between and , in order to meet the 80 per cent carbon reduction target. The loans are cheap because the money is made available at low cost to the commercial banks through the state-owned bank KfW. A further subsidy from the German state also keeps the interest rate down.

As a result, the loans are very popular and around ,, good-quality home refurbishments are completed in Germany every year, Matthew says. Following the German example. However, Matthew says our government has been ominously silent on the issue of ensuring low interest rates for the British system.

It's critical that the finance is provided at sufficiently low interest rates,' he says, adding, 'Householders need to be given a clear signal that they will be expected to refurbish their home, either with fiscal incentives that link rates of stamp duty or council tax to the level of energy efficiency, or, we may have to bite the bullet and say people won't be able to rent or sell their home until it meets a minimum standard. Amory Lovins, founder of the Colorado-based energy efficiency think-tank, the Rocky Mountain Institute , described the UK's housing stock as 'some of the most inefficient in Europe' while speaking at Chatham House in London in November.

James Brew, principal architect at the institute, says this is partly because the UK has mainly used masonry and stone to build flats and houses: 'While this method is high in thermal mass, long-lasting and durable, it is often the leakiest method of building, without proper attention to detailing and air-sealing methods,' says Brew. He believes that 'simplicity is the key' for any scheme to encourage mass refurbishment.

While the government, campaigners and loan providers thrash out the details of the Green Deal over the coming months, there is one other factor that may prove decisive in ensuring the scheme is popular: rising energy costs. In October the industry regulator Ofgem predicted that energy bills would rise 14 to 25 per cent by , because of the cost of replacing outdated power stations, investment in clean energy to meet climate change targets, plus spending on new gas importation and storage facilities, to compensate for the decline of North Sea gas.

If that doesn't persuade householders to refurbish, nothing will. We work hard - with a small budget and tiny editorial team - to bring you the wide-ranging, independent journalism we know you value and enjoy, but we need your help. Please make a donation to support The Ecologist platform.