Wooden abacus

Our methodology was a bit more complex

We’ve just released our new report, Home economics. And never fear, you don’t have to be a master bun-baker or a wizard with a sewing machine to take an interest. 

The report brings together information from across our knowledge of the housing stock and Britain’s existing (already-installed) energy efficiency measures, along with the expertise of the economists at Ekosgen, to show how a shift towards increased energy efficiency could look for GB PLC. 

So youu could say it’s less ‘Home Ec’, and more like ‘Maths meets art class’. 

Here are the big numbers: if every loft and cavity-wall in Britain was filled, and every G-rated boiler replaced with an Energy Saving Trust Recommended one, we could stand to gain £6.6bn in Gross Value Added (GVA) and support 140,000 jobs in Britain’s green industries. 

On a slightly less ambitious scenario, with just the insulation, £4.6bn GVA is gained and 100,000 jobs supported); and on an even more ambitious level, where  every available technology is fitted in every appropriate home (okay, we can dream!),  £280bn is added along with 4.7m jobs.  

And just remember: this top level of ambition is, in fact, the kind of overhaul of the housing stock we seriously need to be thinking about if we’re to hit our 2050 carbon reduction targets. 

But what is GVA? How are these ‘supported jobs’ worked out? Economics is seen as one of tougher academic disciplines – and statistics are rightly always open to scrutiny.  

We worked out economic productivity based on each scale of ambition, taking into account both direct and indirect effects. Direct effects are the immediate impacts on the economy from households installing micro-generation technologies or energy-efficiency measures. Indirect effects include supply-chain expenditure, the re-spend of money saved on fuel bills, and employee wages.

Our job creation figures are based on jobs directly and indirectly linked with installed measures – including manpower, transportation and delivery, office administration, manufacturing and assembly. The term ‘jobs supported’ means the number of jobs (full-time equivalents) that would need to be filled over the course of a year in order to get the work done. 

At a time when full economic recovery is still looking some way off, we thought it was a good chance to highlight the business opportunity and give some reason for optimism, with shifts in skills and types of work people are involved in. 

Indeed, there is a lot going on already: since we first ran the figures for Home economics in November there have been over 400,000 lofts and cavitiy-walls filled through the CERT scheme, which has already generated £115 million GVA and supported 2,700 jobs. We’re getting there –and there’s still much work to be done. 

Click here to view the report in full.