London -- The OFT (the UK Office of Fair Trading) has recommended improved consumer protection along with moves to encourage more competition and choice in the sector.
The OFT asked for evidence in April, triggered by high consumer complaints about home insulation, and concerns that competition in the market may not be working well.
During this process, the OFT heard that some traders do not always install the most suitable form of insulation, for example, using inappropriate materials in houses that are susceptible to damp.
Also, people can find it difficult to obtain redress when things go wrong.
As a result, the OFT recommends that a single body has clear responsibility for monitoring of the quality of installations carried out under the government's ECO and Green Deal initiatives.
It has also proposed changes to improve redress schemes.
Another OFT finding is that a very small number of manufacturers supply home insulation products. Also it received complaints about the length of time it can take for new products to be approved for use in the market.
To lower the barriers for manufacturers trying to develop new products and encourage greater competition and choice in the market, the OFT recommends that certification bodies improve their processes. It is also encouraging architects, building control officers and other building project commissioners to be more open to specifying products from more than one UK product certification body.
OFT director of services, infrastructure and public markets, Nisha Arora, said, "The home insulation sector is now worth some £700 million ($1090 million) and it is important that people receive good quality, well-installed insulation that makes their homes more energy efficient.
"We hope that the recommendations in this report and our continuing work in this sector will encourage greater competition and choice and give consumers increased confidence to have insulation installed."