Government outlines funding for 9,000 training courses for green home workers
The UK Government has unveiled the winners of a £9.2m training scheme to upskill workers in the energy, heating and buildings sectors to help with the installations of clean heating and energy efficiency solutions for homes.
The Government has confirmed the winners of the Home Decarbonisation Skills Training competition. The £9.2m funding offers subsidised or free training for existing or new workers in sectors that can help with household energy efficiency.
The new funding will provide training for 8,900 courses across accredited centres in England. It will primarily focus on heat pump and energy efficiency installers.
The funding is available to existing workers in the sector who want to retain or upskill, as well as entry-level workers.
The training will be delivered until 31 March 2023. It builds on the 2021 funding phase for the same competition, which saw £6m in Government spending used for almost 7,000 training opportunities.
Business and Energy Minister Lord Callanan said: “The green energy sector is driving growth and creating jobs right across the country, and this funding will make sure we have enough tradespeople trained up and able to take advantage of these opportunities.
“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.”
The announcement comes after the Government finally signed on a public information campaign for improving home energy efficiency backed with £18m. It has also confirmed the details of the next phase of the ECO scheme, ECO+.
In a move that has been advocated by environmentalists, groups representing vulnerable demographics and even the UK Government’s own climate advisors, the UK Government confirmed a campaign advising members of the public on saving energy at home “without sacrificing comfort”.
Tips provided will include draught-proofing windows and doors; adjusting the temperature on radiators in empty rooms and reducing boiler flow temperatures to 60C. Boiler flow temperatures indicate how hot water becomes before it is sent to radiators. This latter change, BEIS claims, could save the average home £160 per year.
BEIS has also outlined details about the next phase of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme. The scheme obliges medium and large energy suppliers to fund the installation of energy efficiency improvements in British households, prioritizing those most in need, including pensioners, low-income families with young children and those on means-tested benefits.
BEIS has confirmed that the new ECO phase, ECO+, will be available to a wider range of groups, with the aim of helping all who do not currently have access to any other government funding to improve home energy efficiency. It will include £1bn of funding – 80% of which will be made available to homes in lower council tax brackets with an EPC rating of ‘D’ or below.
ECO+ will run for up to three years from next spring. BEIS estimates that it will save the average home around £310 on annual energy bills.
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