Saturday, December 24, 2011

Efficiency drive

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This sort of energy efficiency and renewable energy scheme (here) is long overdue but whilst the headline is current and active saying 'Ten-year energy efficiency drive will create jobs' the first sentence of the story immediately damps that down, referring to 'council plans to develop' the scheme.

Its good to see this project but £2.5 million over ten years, less than a quarter of a million per year, does not amount to a 'multi-million pound' scheme in my book - unless the council is going to get much more money from a range of other sources (are they?).

Work on 6000 homes and buildings is a decent start but Bristol has hundreds of thousands of homes and buildings, which gives some perspective to this. The 1500 jobs figure sounds more like hope than realism given the amount of money per year mentioned here.

Though the council setting up its own energy company to operate at arms length is a good move I'd ideally like to see many community based energy companies in the city - and I just hope the council is more dynamic than it has proved to be and gets on with it! Having said that they have been and are not helped by central govt policy, so lets see that change for the better.

These developments should be driven by our need for energy security, community resilience and what best science says about the rate at which we need to be cutting fossil fuel use and carbon emissions - if you work back from what they say to the consequent energy efficiency and renewable energy plans you get investment figures that are much higher and orders of magnitude more installations.