Making homes energy efficient could create 7,000 jobs

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MEETING MODERN energy-efficiency standards in Irish homes could generate €600 million a year and create 7,000 sustainable jobs, according to new research from DKM Economic Consultants.

MEETING MODERN energy-efficiency standards in Irish homes could generate €600 million a year and create 7,000 sustainable jobs, according to new research from DKM Economic Consultants.

The research, which was compiled for Engineers Ireland, found that meeting requirements of the 2007 building energy efficiency regulations would help the construction industry move to the “green economy”, while at the same time providing a significant uplift for the industry in a time of need.

Timed to coincide with Energy Ireland’s Engineers Week, which ends today, Minister for the Environment John Gormley welcomed the release of the figures.

Mr Gormley said the recently announced incentives for insulation alone could save about €700 per annum for the average household in heating bill reductions and it was now clear that the green economy was part of the “smart economy”.

From this year, new houses that come on the market require a building energy rating, and each second-hand house coming on the market will require a rating from 2010. The rating is estimated to cost on average €300 per existing dwelling and approximately €200 per new dwelling.

The research estimated that enabling new housing to meet the regulation will cost approximately €8,000 per dwelling, which will be built into the construction price.

Additionally, the consultants found that it was likely that the rating system will encourage retrofitting existing housing stock on an ongoing basis.

Other employment opportunities in the area included the analysis of options that minimise pollution to air, land and water.

This would apply to new construction and development as well as existing buildings as impact assessments on communities would need to be undertaken.

In addition, further opportunities were available in the application of the latest resource efficiency technologies.

The research found that 68 per cent of engineers felt energy would be a key issue in the coming years, with a similar number saying the Government’s green agenda would be very important to the industry.

John Power, Engineers Ireland director general, said it was clear that “these are difficult times for the construction sector, but necessity is the mother of invention and engineers now need to apply their expertise to meet the new needs of the construction sector and the wider green agenda.

“We are seeing evidence of this with more and more engineers entering the green economy and playing a part in everything from retrofitting houses to smart metering that facilitates energy efficiency.

“Today’s DKM data emphasises the burgeoning nature of this Green economy,” Mr Power added.

 

(c) Irish Times

 

(c) Irish Times

Last modified on Tuesday, 10 March 2009 01:17

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