20-year Scot-Govt energy efficiency programme could create 6,000 new jobs in £8bn boost to national economy

Professor Karen Turner, Strathclyde University, Director, Centre for Energy Policy
Professor Karen Turner, Strathclyde University, Director, Centre for Energy Policy

A new Scot-Govt plan to improve the energy efficiency of homes across Scotland by 2040 could boost the economy by £7.8 billion and create 6,000 jobs, according to a new study.

The Centre for Energy Policy  at Strathclyde University modelled the potential economic returns of a cumulative total estimated £8 billion investment via the Energy Efficient Scotland programme announced by Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon yesterday in Glasgow.

The researchers suggest the combination of spending, energy efficiency gains and increased household spending could deliver a cumulative boost of £7.8 billion to the Scottish economy over 30 years and a sustained increase of 0.2% in national GDP in the long term.

For the purpose of the modelling, the research assumed what would effectively be a continuation of existing real funding for residential energy efficiency, estimated to total around £8 billion over 20 years, where 20% comes from Government, 15% via the Energy Company Obligation, delivered by energy companies, and the remaining 65% from household contributions via interest-free loans.

The funds will be spent on activities such as retrofitting energy efficiency measures, insulation and installation of new heating technologies to make to make homes warmer, reduce energy bills and address fuel poverty.

Using data from Scot-Govt and the Energy Savings Trust, the Strathclyde energy experts estimated that the 20-year programme of improvements could lead to an average 9.6% reduction in the energy required to run Scottish households.

The researchers believe the retrofitting and insulation programme combined with the outcome of making Scottish households more energy efficient could create around 6,000 sustained full-time jobs and represent a return on investment for the government in the form of about £5 in GDP per £1 of public money spent.

Professor Karen Turner, Director of the Centre for Energy Policy, said: “A programme that includes the retrofitting and insulation of Scotland’s housing stock to contribute to improving the quality of both the Scottish domestic and non-domestic building stock will certainly help to drive GDP and job creation.

“And the fact that more energy-efficient Scottish households will have higher real income and spending power to put into the economy should result in a long-term sustained boost to jobs and GDP.”

3 May 2018


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