The Daily Telegraph

Wickes boosted by rush for insulation

- By Hannah Boland

SHOPPERS are racing to buy more insulation for their homes as they attempt to ward off higher energy bills this winter.

DIY chain Wickes reported an 85pc increase in sales of home insulation products compared to pre-covid levels, as it said customers were looking for ways to cut back on how much energy they use to heat their properties.

David Wood, the chief executive of Wickes, said the company had also seen strong sales of other energy efficiency products such as LED light bulbs and draft excluders.

He said: “To be honest, I do think the Government should be helping households buying these types of products.”

The higher demand comes as families prepare to be hit by further energy price increases next month.

Liz Truss, the Prime Minister, this month laid out plans to freeze energy bills at around £2,500 a year for an average household this winter and next.

They had been due to rise to £3,549 from October, compared with £1,971 currently. The cap is based on the amount energy providers can charge for a unit of energy, meaning some households face steeper bills.

Poorly insulated large properties are still expected to pay much more than £2,500 a year.

This has prompted many to look for alternativ­es to help them cut back on their bills. Households have also been stocking up on firewood to burn to keep their properties warm rather than turn the heating on. Certainly Wood, which produces 16,000 tonnes of kiln-dried firewood and 2,500 tonnes of kindling wood each year, expects demand to rise as much as 20pc this winter.

Wickes reported a 1pc increase in total revenues for the first half of the year to £822m. It said some of the interest in DIY had dropped off since the pandemic, when it had high levels of demand from locked-down households keen to renovate their homes.

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