With the government hoping the Green Deal will see millions more homes become fully insulated, research has been published suggesting only 1 in 10 UK homes is actually fully benefitting from loft insulation.

Although many households have the required level of loft insulation installed, the research reveals that 82% of them use their loft for storage without realising that compressing insulation, either by boarding or simply by placing items on top of it, significantly reduces its effectiveness.

Of the 23.3 million homes in the UK, 14.1 million have been insulated already, according to DECC. Of those, around 11.5 million homes also use the loft for storage, meaning that only 2.6 million homes, around just one in 10, is fully benefiting from their loft insulation.

The remaining 9.2 million homes have not been insulated adequately, which means they do not have the 270mm of insulation currently recommended.

The research was commissioned by LoftZone, a UK start-up company supported by The Carbon Trust, which develops products to improve the use of lofts, and was conducted by Conduit Partners, a specialist technology start-up business consultancy. The survey was completed by 6,000 people from a cross-section of ages, occupations, UK geographical regions and household incomes. Key findings of the research were:

“Another issue is that insulating to 270mm covers the joists, making loft access quite dangerous because it is hard to see where to walk. Often, insulation will be moved to allow access for storage and for maintenance, and it is rarely replaced, further exacerbating the situation.”