Construction firms installing energy efficiency measures through the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and manufacturers which make products such as solid wall insulation fear over 10,000 jobs could be lost if ECO is scrapped or scaled back.

Prime Minister David Cameron has indicated that green levies could be “rolled back” following the public debate on the cost they add to household energy bills.

The Association of the Conservation of Energy (ACE) estimate up to 33,000 people are currently employed delivering ECO and the Green Deal.

According to Government’s own projections, this should have risen to 60,000 jobs in 2015, says the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC).

UK Green Building Council chief executive Paul King said: “The Prime Minister needs to realise that going after ECO in a bid to cut household energy bills could end up costing 10,000 construction and insulation jobs. That will decimate the very industry that is helping people – including some of the most vulnerable in society – reduce their bills in the long-term.”

Expressing its concern, Willmott Dixon Energy Services says it has invested heavily in establishing a business to respond to the projected market opportunities of energy efficiency under ECO.

Willmott Dixon Energy Services managing director Rob Lambe, said: “Over the next year we anticipated employing more than 400 tradesmen installing insulation to solid walled properties. But if ECO funding is cut, this work will simply come to a grinding halt and these jobs will be lost, with thousands more at risk in the wider industry.”

The Government is expected to announce its intentions on the levies in the Autumn Statement on December 5.

Leigh Stringer

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