New 'Green Deal' program to tackle UK energy use

Tuesday 08th Mar 2011 by theWeather Club

It seems that despite all the many other balls they are having to keep in the air at the moment, the fight to reduce UK carbon emissions has not entirely slipped off the Westminster radar. The government has announced funding towards training 1,000 'Green Deal' apprentices to install energy-saving measures in homes and businesses. The Green Deal programme aims to provide insulation and other green technology to millions of homes at no upfront cost to homeowners. The work will be carried out by energy companies, who will recoup the expense by keeping a portion of the savings consumers will gain through lower energy usage.

According to Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne, the Green Deal will support 100,000 jobs within five years, but needs a "big injection of skills and investment" to succeed. The project includes funding for at least 1,000 apprentices - part of a series of measures which also include working with companies to set out standards for installers involved in scheme and encouraging businesses to take on new trainees and boost the skills of their workers. Ministers hope the measures will help apprentices become experts in installing cavity and solid wall insulation and new energy-efficient heating systems, as well as learning about new green technologies. The funding will cover the full costs of training apprentices who are 16 to 18 years old, while the government will share the cost with businesses for apprentices who are 19 and older.

The government has frequently pledged to be the greenest yet, and has grand plans to reshape the way the country generates electricity, heats its homes and powers its transport. Like all EU countries the UK committed to a 20% cut in overall CO2 emissions by 2020, compared with 1990 levels. The hope is that an army of new technicians will be turning up on doorsteps across the land with bright eyes and bales of insulation, putting a friendly face on a very serious business.