Home insulation programme in West Cumbria could create as many jobs as proposed new mine
*** An updated briefing on the proposed Cumbrian coal mine is here:
A programme to improve insulation and energy efficiency in West Cumbrian homes could create up to 600 new jobs as well as reducing the energy bills of people in poorly-insulated homes by hundreds of pounds a year, according to analysis published today by Friends of the Earth.
The 600 jobs that could be created by improving energy efficiency is comparable to the job creation claims for the proposed Whitehaven coal mine.
The Friends of the Earth analysis is based on work by think-tank IPPR North who calculated that bringing the 2,409,900 homes in north-west England that need upgrading up to a reasonable level of energy efficiency could create 26,000 direct jobs. This equates to one job created for every 93 homes needing to be upgraded. Applying this to the local situation in West Cumbria, where there are around 56,000 homes needing to be upgraded, could result in up to 600 jobs being created.
Friends of the Earth is calling for all homes to be brought up to a reasonable energy efficiency standard - an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) ‘C’ rating - by 2030.
Improving home insulation could save householders hundreds of pounds a year in heating bills, and the cumulative savings in West Cumbria could total tens of millions of pounds this decade.
Estelle Worthington, Friends of the Earth’s North-West Regional Campaign Co-ordinator said:
“People in West Cumbria want secure jobs and lower energy bills. A programme to make sure every home in the area has proper insulation would give them both and could create as many jobs as the proposed new coal mine.
“Better insulation and a real drive for renewable energy are the solutions to both the energy and climate crises.
"But the government’s insulation plans announced last week just kick the can down the road for another two years – we need action now.
“Job creation doesn’t need to come at the expense of the climate.
“Ministers must do more to help the people of Cumbria reap the benefits of building a zero carbon and affordable future.”
A programme of improved home insulation would not just cut energy bills and create jobs – it would also cut carbon emissions (home heating is responsible for a sixth of UK emissions) and reduce the health impact of cold homes. It has been estimated that the NHS spends £2.5 billion a year dealing with the health impacts of cold, damp and dangerous homes.
Notes to editors
- Recent research published in August revealed nearly 9,000 'energy crisis hotspots' in England and Wales.