‘For homes to be climate friendly, £150bn is needed’

More than 46k workers will also be needed to install energy efficient technologies, analysis claims

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For houses in the Southeast of England to meet the government’s green targets, £150 billion investment will be needed.

That’s according to research by Energy Systems Catapult, claiming that in addition to this, more than 46,000 full-time workers will be needed to upgrade the homes.

The Greater South East Net Zero Hub received a £78 million grant from the government earlier this year to implement energy efficient measures in households – including heat pumps and solar panels.

However, £53 million of this funding ended up being returned to the government due to a lack of skilled workers to install these technologies and upgrade buildings.

On being unable to spend the grant funding, the hub’s leader Maxine Narburgh said: “It was incredibly disappointing. We’re here to support people to get more efficient homes. There was funding available to improve those homes but just not enough people to deliver that for us.

“We have around 29 million homes in the UK that need to have energy efficiency measures, low carbon heating and solar installed by 2050. That is going to need a very large workforce.”

Certain educational institutions are beginning to train younger people with net zero skills using government funding.

This includes the West Herts College group, who’s director of curriculum, Amanda Washbrook, said: “Where you look at the number of electric vehicle chargers that need to be put in, there just aren’t the installers qualified at the moment to do that.

“So if we all start buying electric vehicles there will be a problem with people waiting a long time to get those chargers installed in their houses or waiting a long time for installations of chargers in public places that they’d be able to use.”

Business and Energy Minister Lord Callanan commented: “We are making homes greener and cheaper to keep warm and training thousands more skilled installers will ensure we keep accelerating the pace of creating cleaner and more energy efficient buildings.”

BEIS has announced £9.6 million to fund almost 9,000 training courses for installing heat pumps and other energy efficient measures.