A friend of mine who works in the insulation industry told me a story recently, which highlights some of the pitfalls of selling insulation (or anything else) door-to-door.
His wife had mentioned that she had been plagued by people trying to sell her insulation on a regular basis and one morning when he was working at home there was a knock at the door. He answered it, to be confronted by a pair of eager salespeople from a well known installer. (It is important to understand that he understands the technical background to insulation very well and knows all the products on the market.)
Good Morning Sir, we are from XXXX, Would you like to have free insulation installed?
No, it is, would you like to have free insulation installed, we can do your loft or your cavity wall.
I don’t have a cavity wall, What type of insulation are you offering?
Loft and Cavity wall insulation!
No, I mean what Type of insulation!
Free Loft and Cavity Wall Insulation!
There are lots of types of insulation, (goes on to list them) which ones are you offering?
He then gave them a stern lecture on understanding their products a bit better before trying to sell them to unsuspecting residents and sent them packing.
The danger of unleashing people like this onto the streets is that they are going to do more harm than good, insulation, or any other intervention in building fabric requires some knowledge on the part of the sales people and installers, we cannot rely on householders to be the knowledgeable party in this relationship. As CERT and CESP come to a close the energy companies are trying feverishly to offload a lot of insulation on the market to avoid any threat of fines from Ofgem.
What ought to be happening is that DECC should be stepping in to prevent this type of behaviour and ensuring that there is no danger of a bubble in the insulation market just when the Green Deal is being adopted.