With less than a dozen houses left in Britain to have loft insulation installed to the recommended depth by the Government, loft insulation companies are lobbying for a change in the law.
"We estimate that we have about two hours worth of work left," said Neil Downs, owner of the Loft Insulation Fitting Team. "The recent snow revealed six house with insufficient loft insulation, but three of them are derelict without roofs. We cannot convince the owners to have insulation fitted. Even with an incredibly generous grant."
The lack of houses is not enough to keep the estimated two thousand insulation companies in business. For this reason, they have grouped together to form the Loft Insulation Guild and approach the ConDems for a change in the law.
"We would like the three most common insulation types to be declared carcinogenic," said Downs. "In addition, we believe that the current minimum of twelve inches is a vast underestimate of the amount of insulation that is required. We are calling for at least twenty-four inches. Made of high technology fibres that cost a lot."
Regular maintenance contracts are how most companies in diminishing markets stay in business.
"The house alarm market is one we would like to emulate," said Downs. "An alarm shouldn't need somebody to come and look at it once a year, but they've convinced insurance companies that it's a good idea. We would like to do the same with insulation."
The government feels that it cannot sanction an increase in the amount of insulation
"Current guidelines are already twice as much as is actually needed," said Harriet Harmpit, minister for Sustainable Energy and Biscuits. "It has already been doubled once to placate the insulators. Now they want more."
Without government backing, Neil Downs does believe that he has the perfect solution.
"Current insulation is not environmentally friendly," he said, desperately. "We are suggestion to all householders in the UK to switch to the new environmental loft insulation. Live sheep. They are naturally insulating, keep the moss down, easy to pack and require a six-monthly check-up. We will begin installing live sheep as soon as we have managed to train them not to bleat in the middle of the night."