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Seize the Day – A time to train for Net Zero Homes

Pete Eisenegger writes: It’s a pandemic. Consumers are being cautious. People are losing jobs.

Meanwhile Global Warming continues and the need to adjust and bring our carbon footprints down becomes ever more pressing. As is the need for energy efficient homes. Building new modern homes to the standard needed is easy compared to upgrading the houses we have inherited from generations ago. Bringing them up to the Net Zero standard is another job entirely. This is the Retrofit Challenge.

We at the NCF and others have shown that the UK needs many more pairs of hands in the building trades to cope with the anticipated demand for retrofitting our homes to be Net Zero. These are skilled jobs fitting insulation and cladding, in some case putting in better boilers, then installing solar panels and heat pumps.

The aim is to retrofit 27 million of the 29 million UK homes by 2050. That’s 900,000 a year or 17,000 – 20,000 a week depending on when the UK is ready to fully roll out retrofit and how many working weeks there are in year.

That’s equivalent to about all the homes in Dorking every week, or if you live further north, about every home in Selby Town each week.

And to pay for it, consumers – our children and our children’s children – will be borrowing and spending hundreds of billions of pounds over 30 years (  not a typo, a hundred billion is a number with 11 noughts )

It is said that up to 300,000 additional jobs will be needed for Net Zero Homes retrofit. However those people and skills are not yet in place.

Right now consumer demand is depressed, so NCF says, isn’t it time to prepare, recruit and train up all those trades skills we will need ?

Let’s invest in the unemployed from all backgrounds and build the trade skills needed to be able to catch up with the retrofitting we will need to meet the 2050 targets ?

Let’s act now and make the UK capable of delivering that key Net Zero Homes national objective.

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