Tag Archives: Jobs

Getting to Zero – regional impacts

6 January 2021: All too often the regional impacts of climate and energy policies are ignored. As we bring in further actions to decarbonise our economy it’s increasingly clear that some parts of the country will benefit or be adversely impacted than other parts – and it’s something that needs to be better understood if we are to ensure that the transition we undertake to a cleaner energy system is a fair transition, taking into account those jobs and industries that will likely need to close.

A new report by centre-right thinktank Onwards, Getting to Zero, touches upon this issue highlighting that: “if we look collectively at all the industries responsible for more than 2% of annual greenhouse gas emissions in the UK, we see that these industries are concentrated more in some parts of the UK than others. On a regional level, East Midlands, West Midlands and Yorkshire and the Humber, have the highest proportion of jobs in high emitting industries: 42%, 41% and 38% respectively. As Figure 11 shows, the industrial and manufacturing heartlands in the Midlands and North are far more likely to experience economic disruption during the net zero transition than the South East and London. This may be positive – in the form of new green jobs, or it may be negative through job losses – but the fact remains some places will be affected more than others.

The report undertakes further mapping by Parliamentary constituency and sets out that “urban areas have the lowest reliance on high emitting jobs and transport. Notable examples are Islington and Hackney, both of which are areas in the bottom ten for both high emitting employment and transport emissions. This is likely due to the high reliance on the service economy over a production economy and superior public transport links in dense urban areas like London.” This is a first in a series of papers planned by Onward – and worth a quick look at.

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London’s Energy Future 2020

June 2013: The Mayor has set out priorities for the capital over the following decade in a new publication 2020 Vision – The Greatest City on Earth:Ambitions for London. Examples of some of the challenges highlighted in the accompanying press release include that “London’s population will hit ten million by 2030. London also needs 400,000 new homes in the next ten years alone.”

Despite the Mayor stating in the report that “The country as a whole is facing an energy crisis” (see below), disappointingly, across the 84 pages of the report, little is said in relation to practical measures the Mayor will undertake in helping secure London’s energy requirements to 2020 and beyond. There is also no specific reference at all to climate change in the report or how the capital may need to adapt to changed weather patterns. The ‘Securing our Energy Supplies’ section (p44) sets out many of the problems – but few future actions:

“New homes and new transport links will put pressure on other forms of infrastructure, notably water, sewage and energy. The country as a whole is facing an energy crisis, as nuclear power stations reach the end of their lives and as coal fired stations are closed to comply with EU regulations.

For too long London has been reliant solely on the National Grid and we need six new £40m substations urgently. It is time to take much bolder steps towards self-sufficiency. We are reducing wasted energy – retrofitting tens of thousands of buildings and helping to reduce fuel bills.
London’s CO2 emissions have actually fallen by 13.7 per cent since 2000, and are now back at 1990 levels. Our retrofitting schemes have so far improved the efficiency of 111 public buildings and 82,000 homes.

By 2020 we must have in hand a project to retrofit every badly insulated home in the city, and every badly insulated office -not just to save energy, save CO2 but to save Londoners’money in tough economic times. As they have discovered in Germany, these retrofitting schemes can be formidable creators of employment.

A building the size of the Shard can use as much electricity as Colchester – and so we need to meet London’s energy needs as independently as possible. By 2025 we intend to supply 25 per cent of the city’s power from decentralised energy generation within London itself – and it is clearly right that these plants should run, as far as possible, on renewable fuels.

It is a little known fact that TfL has its own power station in Greenwich, and we are now working with the private sector to convert that station to provide heat and power from low carbon energy sources; and this could be the first of many.” (for more on this see here and here)

There is, not surprisingly, a strong emphasis on the creation of new jobs for Londoners running as major thread through the report. The Mayor has previously highlighted the  opportunity presented to London through the adoption of  low carbon programmes – a 2011 study for the Mayor suggesting up to 14,000 jobs could be created. Boris’s 2012 Mayoral election manifesto stated that 4,300 ‘green’ jobs could be created through his retrofitting and decentralised energy programmes alone. Despite the mention in the report (see above) on how Germany has managed to boost employment by adopting major energy efficiency retrofit schemes, though there are 55 references to jobs in the ‘2020 Vision’ document, there is no single specific mention to how ‘green jobs’ will be further promoted.

Finally, the odd factlet stated in the report comparing the electricity use in Colchester to The Shard (see above) was first used in a column the Mayor wrote in the Daily Telegraph in December 2012…and was disputed soon after.

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Insulation suppliers ‘concerned they will not be able to continue in business’

23 November 2012: A number of concerns around the the delivery of energy efficiency measures in London are raised in a paper presented earlier this month to the Greater London Authority’s Housing Investment Group.  The paper sets out that:

“3.2  Due to delays in clarifying and implementing the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and the Green Deal, additional work is now needed to ensure a smooth transition from the end of the previous CESP /CERT funding scheme in December until the Green Deal goes live in April.

“3.3  In particular we need to ensure there is no slow down in environmental domestic retrofit in London from January to April 2013.

Critically for the insulation industry the paper goes on to say:

“We have met several suppliers who are concerned they will not be able to continue in business due to the potential drop in delivery from Jan-April.”

As a consequence, the Mayor’s RE:NEW domestic energy efficiency programme has decided to continue to contract the EST who “will help manage the transition period and maintain the supply chain framework until the implementation of Green Deal and ECO in April.”

It’s becoming clear that the insulation industry’s concerns – arising out of the Government’s decision not to implement a transition plan from CERT, which is heavily focused on the installation of cavity wall and loft insulation, to the Green Deal and ECO, which is not – are now being realised. An estimate of job losses to the insulation industry in London was also released last week (see earlier post ‘’625 jobs under threat in the Insulation Industry in London’)

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‘625 jobs under threat in the Insulation Industry in London’

19 November 2012: The Insulation Industry Forum have issued a news release stating that “a coalition representing over 70% of the UK’s £700m insulation industry has warned that 625 jobs in the insulation industry are under threat in London in 2013, with job losses starting this Winter.”

This situation arises as a result of  changes being made to the Government’s  home energy efficiency programme, moving from the existing CERT scheme, to the new Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and the Green Deal from the beginning of 2013. The IIF state that:

“The losses come from the gap between the ending of the existing subsidy schemes for cavity wall solid wall and loft insulation, and the Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation (ECO) becoming fully functional. This will seriously impact on the continuity of work and number of cavity wall, loft insulation and solid wall jobs undertaken from the 1 January 2013. As a result of the gap, 625 jobs will go in London in 2013.”

As detailed in a number of previous posts, London has missed out from energy supplier CERT funds (and its predecessor programmes) over the last decade (clearly shown in slide 2 of a recent GLA presentation on the ‘History of Attracting CERT’ here). There are still significant numbers of lofts and cavity walls to be insulated in the capital. However, the new ECO and Green Deal programmes will remove the market stimulation programmes for loft and cavity insulation – apart from those households who fall within a subset of ECO – the Carbon Saving Communities Obligation (CSCO) areas.

At the Local Government Association’s Green Deal conference held in London last Friday, a presentation from East London based organisation Otesha highlighted that programmes they had initiated to help get young unemployed people trained in the insulation sector, as part of their ‘green jobs’ initiative, where stalling as a result of insulation companies losing contracts because of the change in Government programmes.

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Energy and Climate Questions to the Mayor

October 2012: This month the Mayor has been asked questions in relation to:

a London-specific target under the Government’s forthcoming Energy Company Obligation (ECO) programme; progressing in achieving the Mayor’s Hydrogen Powered Vehicles strategy; the provision of energy efficiency support to SMEs in London; work being undertaken under the Mayor’s Decentralised Energy Project Delivery Unit; support for Cooperative Renewable Energy projects; how London will benefit under Energy Company Obligation (ECO); a list of all current Decentralised Energy projects supported; the roll out of the Green Deal in London; work to support the support the non-domestic Green Deal programme in London; the scale of the Mayor’s Green Deal programme in London; Guidance on low carbon cooling systems; low/zero carbon measures secured through the GLA’s planning process;  GLA review of the potential for low and zero carbon microgeneration technologies; future carbon emissions related to new infrastructure projects; work by the GLA with ICLEI, C40 and Eurocities on climate mitigation and adapation; and update on Low Carbon Skills Forum; planned budgets for future carbon mitigation programmes; carbon savings achieved by the Mayor’s programmes; the success of the Feed in Tariff (FIT) programme in London; an update on the London Thames Gateway Heat Network; the publication date of the Mayor’s Technical Guide for District Heating; and progress on the development of district heating commercial templates and a London Heat Charter. Planning guidance on sustainable design and construction; progress under the RE:FIT programme; targets under the RE:NEW 2 programme; annual progress report on the Mayor’s climate programme; an update on the London greenhouse gas inventory (LEGGI). Publication of the London Environment Strategy (see here for the answer referred to); the number of Solid Wall Insulation companies in London; Mayoral action on tackling Fuel Poverty; energy efficiency of new homes in the Olympic park; proposal for a zero carbon development around the Olympic site; energy consumption of superfast broadband; and future plans for Edmonton incinerator.

A series of questions (below) were asked in relation to RE:NEW – all of which were directed to a question asked earlier this year pointing to the November 2012 publication of the evaluation of the RE:NEW programme.

How many pensioner households treated under the RE:NEW programme; number of solid wall homes treated under RE:NEW; fuel poor households treated under RE:NEW; flats treatedunder RE:NEW; private rented homes treated under RE:NEW; the number of solid wall installations undertaken under RE:NEW; the number of cavity wall insulation installations undertaken under RE:NEW; the number of loft insulation installations under RE:NEW; the number of benefit checks undertaken through RE:NEW; and how RE:NEW has helped drive up the CERT and Warm Front programmes in London.

Previous questions to the Mayor can be found here.

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10 July 2012: Brent is looking for a “Schools Technical Energy Advisor … to help schools in Brent manage their energy use and reduce their carbon emissions.” The Advisor would help deliver the council’s Collaborative Low Carbon School Service (CLCSS) and look to:

  • Identify energy efficiency / improvement projects that the schools are interested to act upon to reduce energy use
  • Discuss Display Energy Certificate (DEC) Rating with the school as means of measuring annual energy usage performance.  Initially target schools in F and G categories.
  • Assist with the promotion of Brent Council’s Energy Strategy for Buildings

Further information here. The job is offered as a short term contract to April 2013 with a deadline for applications of 15 July 2012.

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Hackney Green Deal Project

June 2012: Acrola Energy are  leading a training and employment project linked to the start of the Green Deal later this year to:

  • Provide free training for trades people in Hackney on the requirements for work under this new scheme.
  • Provide trades people with the opportunity to meet architects, suppliers and main contractors in order to win new business.
  • Bring together Hackney trades people with the people living in the area who are interested in having building work done through Green Deal or otherwise.

Further information at www.acrolaenergy.com

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Impact of the Green Deal in London

21 February 2012: Angie Bray, MP for Central Ealing and Acton, has asked two Parliamentary Questions about the anticipated impact of the introduction of the Green Deal in London with regard to investment and jobs.

Angie Bray: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much private sector investment in energy efficiency in London he expects to result from the Green Deal. [94812]
Gregory Barker: The Department’s estimate of the level of Green Deal private finance is set out in the draft impact assessment published on 23 November 2011. The final impact assessment will be published in the spring. These figures are national and DECC has not carried out an assessment of the private finance requirement on a regional basis. The impact assessment can be seen here.

Angie Bray: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many jobs he expects to be created in London as a result of the Green Deal. [94813]
Gregory Barker: It is not possible to provide figures for the number of jobs that will be created in London. It is estimated that by 2015 the number of jobs in Great Britain as a result of the Green Deal and energy company obligation could be up to 65,000.

Reading the 200 page-plus Green Deal and ECO Impact Assessment (IA) is a pretty thankless task at the best of times, filled as it is with endless graphs and tables of the various scenarios envisaged by DECC’s  modellers, but it’s  particularly pointless at the moment as the Minister has previously stated – over a month ago – that the “Green Deal Impact Assessment is already out of date” (see Greg Barker’s response to George Monbiot at 11.04am).

It is difficult to see how many new jobs will in fact be created by the Green Deal as the Government anticipates in the IA a massive reduction in the number of insulation jobs with the introduction of this new flagship environmental programme. This has been picked up by a wide range of diverse commentators (UKERC, CBI, and most importantly a detailed response from the Committee on Climate Change) and many press articles (BBC and Guardian amongst others). However, maybe this will all change in the final IA to be published in the Spring…

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‘Sydney beats London in race to be green’

December 2011: As part of an OECD studyEnabling Local Green Growth: Addressing Climate Change Effects on Employment and Local Developmentfour cities were studied in relation to the  impacts of climate change and effects on local  labour markets, focussing on the creation of jobs and the development of a skilled workforce to meet the needs of the greener economy. A press report on a workshop for the study highlighted that “More than half of Sydney companies have changed or modified their jobs to improve green performance, compared with only 3.5 per cent of London firms.”

The full OECD comparison report is as yet to be published (see above link for further information), however the detailed London study can be downloaded here.

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The London Low Carbon Market Snapshot 2011

November 2011: Figures compiled by INNOVAS for a report commissioned by the Mayor, has “examined in detail for the first time, the health of the low carbon and environmental goods and services sector in London during 2009-2010. It reveals that the sector grew by over four per cent a year, was supporting 9,000 companies employing 160,000 people and importantly, is set to grow further.” Only a summary of the report has been so far released (linked above). Previous work in this area on ‘Green Jobs’ in London can be seen here.

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“Energy Retrofit Will Save Billions”

14 October 2011: Speaking at the CBI London Annual Dinner, the Mayor laid out the economic and environmental opportunities for private sector businesses if they commit to retrofitting their premises and invest in retrofitting goods and services. The news release states that the “Mayor has funded RE:NEW, a homes energy efficiency programme which is currently retrofitting 55,000 homes across the capital by May 2012. In addition, his RE:FIT programme is set to help hundreds of public sector buildings retrofit their premises using a hassle-free template that guarantees money-back on the capital investment from predicted energy savings. The Mayor has also diverted public money into the London Green Fund which is leveraging in hundreds of millions in private sector money to provide cheap loans for public organisations enabling them to access upfront money for retrofitting. The 42 city buildings that trialled RE:FIT saw savings of up to 40 per cent in energy usage and collectively are saving the city one million pounds a year off energy bills.”
Read the full news release here.

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Green Expectations: Lessons from the US green jobs market

22 July 2011: Hanna Thomas of the East London Green Jobs Alliance is a co-author of this Institute of Public Policy Report (IPPR) report assessing the success of the ‘green jobs’ policy agenda in the US investigating a range of localised, bottom-up approaches to fostering the ‘green economy’. The report makes some useful comments in relation to the Government’s Green Deal programme, which “has been billed as having the potential to create 250,000 jobs, making it the largest single opportunity for job creation in UK energy and climate change policy. But the difficulties experienced in the US in creating jobs in this sector underline the challenge the Green Deal faces in realising this estimate and achieving wider policy success.”

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