• Mon. May 27th, 2024

Retroffiting Witney homes would ‘create thousands of jobs’


Sep 22, 2022

Thousands of jobs would be created in Witney by retrofitting homes with good insulation and heat pumps, a new report claims.

Think tank the Institute for Public Policy Research advocates making a £7billion a year investment in upgrading homes.

The scheme, it says, is a 'no-brainer' to create jobs, boost growth, reduce energy bills, level-up and meet net-zero targets nationwide.

The 28-year plan to upgrade almost all of England's 24 million homes with energy efficient measures and low-carbon technologies would create 1.2 million direct jobs – including 2,030 in Witney.

However, this is equivalent to just 4.7 per cent of the area's total job market.

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Nationally, it is equivalent to 4.9 per cent of the total job market.

IPPR claims the move is “uniquely placed” to become “the cornerstone of the Government’s levelling-up strategy in England”.

It says communities with the highest demand for installers tend to be current or former industrial centres and coastal communities outside London and the South East.

The UK as a whole is currently installing less than a tenth of the measures needed in its “cold, damp and leaky” housing stock to meet its net zero target, it said.

The pace of deployment required is only increasing in the face of the “dire” energy price crisis.

The think tank said investing in its proposals for a multibillion-pound retrofitting programme could save average households £430 per year when energy bills are capped at £2,500 this autumn.

It could sustain more than 1.2 million direct jobs and 1.5 million indirect jobs by 2050.

The think tank set out five key policy components.

These include setting a date for phasing out the sale of oil and gas boilers, expanding training standards, introducing a one-stop shop for financial support, launching a massive national information campaign, and boosting funding to local authorities to deliver tailored retrofitting schemes.

Luke Murphy, associate director for the energy, climate, housing and infrastructure team at the IPPR, said the move was a “no-brainer”.

He said: “It’s hard to think of another intervention that could deliver on so many objectives at the same time.

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"It’s time the Government acted and invested to upgrade our nation’s homes, making them warmer and more affordable.”

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Department agrees that retrofitting will help the economy grow and bring down household energy bills, and is spending £6.6 billion to improve energy efficiency across the country.

A BEIS spokesperson said: “The majority of our ‘Help to Heat’ support is targeting those on low incomes and vulnerable households, which is benefiting tens of thousands of homes and delivering average savings of £300 a year on energy bills.

“Huge progress has already been made, with the number of homes with an energy efficiency rating of C or above at 46 per cent and rising, up from just 14 per cent in 2010.”

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