London, UK The UK government said Tuesday its projected £7 billion/year Green Deal investment program to improve energy efficiency in the country’s homes and small business premises could eventually support up to 250,000 jobs should it be taken up by all of the nation’s households over the next 20 years.
“The Green Deal is a massive new business opportunity which has the potential to support up to a quarter of a million jobs as part of our third industrial revolution. Insulation installers and the supply chain all stand to benefit from this long overdue energy makeover,” said Liberal Democrat coalition government energy minister Chris Huhne.
According to Huhne’s DECC department, the Green Deal will be a new and radical way of making energy efficiency affordable for all, regardless of whether people own or rent their property.
“The upfront finance will be attached to the building’s energy meter. People can pay back over time with the repayments less than the savings on bills, meaning many would benefit from day one. It will help save carbon, energy and money off fuel bills,” said a DECC statement.
Government estimates suggest there are currently 27,000 people working in the UK’s home energy efficiency sector. Tuesday’s statement was the government’s first call on the potential employment impact of the scheme which it described as being an exercise in “working all around the country to make our housing stock fit for a low carbon world.”
“Energy efficiency is a no brainer. We need to tap in to this huge market to save people money on fuel bills, save carbon and help the economic recovery,” said Huhne.
In the same note, the chief executive of the UK National Insulation Association said: “The Green Deal is an exciting new initiative which has a key role to play in significantly increasing the uptake of insulation, creating new jobs, whilst also reducing energy bills and tackling climate change.”
Continuing, he said: “The NIA and its members look forward to continuing to work with government in developing a robust delivery plan which will ensure a major increase in insulation volumes.”
The current UK Conservative-Liberal Democrat government has vowed to be the country’s “greenest government yet” with Huhne widely acknowledged as being a strong advocate of both renewable energy and the drive towards a low carbon economy.
Additional government figures Tuesday suggested that a saving of £550/year could be realised under the Green Deal plan, which is expected to be made available by late-2012, by installing insulation into those homes currently deemed as being the most energy inefficient.
The Energy Security and Green Economy Bill is set to introduced in the autumn [fall] of this year and will legislate that long term repayments for upfront costs for making premises more energy efficient can be made through charges levied against an individual home’s energy meter.