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We are ready to provide 40,000 green-collar jobs in the next two years, says energy industry

8 July 2020

The Association for Decentralised Energy (The ADE) welcomes the announcement made today (8/7/20) by the Chancellor backing a green recovery, which should support thousands of jobs, reduce energy bills and make homes healthier and lower carbon. 

The announcement included:

  • A total of £3bn to improve the energy efficiency of buildings. 
  • £2bn Grant scheme for domestic energy efficiency measures, such as insulation, with Government expected to cover at least 2/3rds of the cost through a voucher scheme. 
  • Scheme to be finalised and launched in September and spent over one year, with half allocated for poorest households.
  • £1bn earmarked for the improvement of public sector buildings.   

Caroline Bragg, Head of Policy at the ADE said: 

Our members- energy businesses up and down the country- are delighted that the Government has today kickstarted a national buildings renovation programme. This will allow industry to get started providing good, green-collar jobs right away; if designed right, this support could employ close to 40,000 in the next two years. These green-collar jobs and apprenticeships will provide high-quality improvements to people’s homes, making them healthier, more comfortable and greener.

The energy efficiency sector is covered by established consumer protection and quality assurance schemes.  

Dave Robson, CEO of InstaGroup, said: 

We are ready to do this work and we are ready to do it well. Our skilled workforce is ready to deliver a quality result for people and their homes but, for this to happen, the scheme needs to be up and running as soon as possible and administered through well established channels.

Retrofit has been advocated by leading politicians, economists and policy experts for its ability to support local jobs and SMEs and its importance as part of the UK’s green economic recovery.  

Rt Hon Philip Dunne MP, Chairman of the Environmental Audit Committee who spoke at the ADE webinar event last week said:

Our Committee recognises the significant contribution energy efficiency has to play in achieving Net Zero Britain. Homes alone account for around 20% of greenhouse gas emissions in the UK, and we know that there are 19 million homes that are EPC rated D or worse.  

I therefore welcome the Chancellor’s £3bn funding of both grants for hundreds of thousands of homes to be insulated; and for hospitals, schools and other public buildings to become more energy efficient. This is a great kick-start to retrofitting British buildings and the jobs this will create.

Research from the Energy Efficiency Infrastructure Group suggests that a focus on building retrofit, including Government funding and other policy changes, can create close to 40,000 jobs in the next two years and research from the ECIU has shown that the jobs that result from energy efficiency investment aren’t concentrated in clusters but are distributed across the entire country.

Michael Lewis, E.ON UK CEO, said:

Supply chains are ready to go now and because the construction industry was one of the hardest hit by the pandemic with a 16.5% drop in employment, such a move would support many small businesses across Britain.  The certainty of a Government commitment will help businesses to retain staff and unfurlough employees more quickly.

A comprehensive programme to renovate all homes to a decent standard by 2030 could support 150,000 jobs across all regions of the UK, with up to 40,000 jobs in the first two years. That would have a bigger impact on already low-income areas where nearly half of all at-risk jobs are in occupations earning less than £10 an hour.

Key to making a national buildings renovation programme really work for the UK is integrating the different elements that are needed to get us to net zero. This means understanding that low carbon heating, energy efficiency and smart capability all go hand in hand to create the best service for customers. 

In June 2020, the heat networks industry, which delivers heat to close to 500,000 customers across the country as an alternative to heating from individual gas boilers, launched the Heat Networks Industry Council (HNIC), headlining the sector’s ambition to deliver up to 35,000 new direct jobs in the sector by 2050. 

Dan McGrail, Chair of the Heat Networks Industry Council, said: 

We understand the economic challenges ahead of us as a country, which is why we want to do all that we can as the heat network industry to create jobs and investment. Our investment will generate jobs and will contribute to a sustainable economic transition in line with the United Kingdom's net zero targets.

Welcoming the announcement today, the ADE was also pleased to see the Energy and Clean Growth Minister, The Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP, mention in BEIS questions of his support for the £9.2bn investment committed in the Conservative manifesto. The EEIG research has concluded that ongoing investment in buildings retrofit, in line with the manifesto commitment, could see 150,000 green-collar jobs created by 2030.

Caroline Bragg, Head of Policy at the ADE said: 

To really be 'Retrofit Rishi', the Chancellor will need to back a multi-year national buildings programme, including social housing, owner-occupied and the private rented sector to ensure every building in the UK is fit for the future.

ENDS

About the ADE

The Association for Decentralised Energy is setting the vision of a local, efficient, low carbon energy system which enables energy users to make the choices which work for them. The Association has more than 160 members active across a range of technologies and markets and is widely recognised as one of the leading industry bodies in the sustainable energy sector. 

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For further information please contact:
Lucy Symons- Jones,
Head of External Affairs, The ADE
Tel: +44 (0)7 906 445 775,
Lucy.symons-jones@theade.co.uk 

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