Green drive could create 200,000 London jobs

Boris Johnson has set out the “massive economic opportunities” he sees arising from his drive to make London’s buildings energy efficient.

Speaking at low carbon economy conference BASE London today, the Mayor said that 9,000 London homes have already been retrofitted with energy saving measures under the RE:NEW programme. The saving per home is up to £154 a year off fuel bills. 50,000 more homes are set to be offered the service by May 2012.

The Mayor’s public sector building programme, RE:FIT, is now open to all public buildings having been trialled on 42 fire stations, police stations and Transport for London buildings, and it has recently received funding that could help organisations retrofit up to 600 buildings in London with energy efficiency measures. As these programmes expand to embrace more of the capital’s vast building stock, the Mayor said they present a significant investment opportunity for business.

The estimated economic value for London by 2025 coming from low carbon goods and services equates to £40 billion of investment into the capital, which could create 200,000 jobs.

As London’s buildings account for nearly 80 per cent of carbon emissions, the biggest low carbon economic opportunity for businesses stems from activity to make them energy efficient. Building retrofitting (fitting older buildings with energy efficiency devices) accounts for 41 per cent of the overall investment the city requires to achieve the Mayor’s 60 per cent carbon cut by 2025.

Investment in retrofitting could deliver up to 80 per cent of the 14,000 low carbon jobs that could be created per year and two thirds of the £721 million of low carbon economic activity per year up until 2025.

The Mayor, said: “Just as London’s innovative approach secured its prosperity during the industrial age, so I want us now to grasp the massive economic opportunities coming from becoming a lean, green, energy-efficient city.”

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