Cost/benefit of eco friendly insulation - my findings - and why I chose traditional insulation

In order to get the £5,000 for a heat pump your house needs to have 270mm of insulation in the attic. This has been a long standing issue for me to get sorted, but very recently, I moved to get the insulation put in.

I found a local contractor who was happy for me to purchase the insulation and then for them to do the install, for a fixed price. This suited me well, but what I found next was crazy.

What I really wanted to do was to use a really eco-friendly insulation. There are some great options like sheep’s wool or insulation made from plastic bottles. The benefit of those options are:

  • Sheep’s wool - lots of Sheep’s wool gets thrown away or burnt meaning the embodied carbon our wonderful furry friends are making through their wool gets put back up in the atmosphere. By putting it into insulation we effectively hold that carbon in our houses.
  • Plastic bottles - everyone wants to see this stuff re-used effectively and what a great place to put it - in your attic. Plastic can only be recycled a few times so why not put it somewhere permanent where it can’t do any damage and it keeps you warm? The alternative is to burn it and then you’re causing climate change. So - put it in the attic.

I’m afraid to say that although I love all these arguments I could quite make them stack up when I was faced with a bill for £400 for traditional spun glass insulation against £1,400 for plastic bottle or £1,600 for Sheep’s wool (which after a bit of research also has problem with moths).

It’s useful for others to know that’s what I found - let me know if I’m wrong!