A group of trainee electricians from Nottingham have been taking part in free training sessions to give them valuable skills and qualifications, as part of the renewable energy project between E.ON and Nottingham City Council.
E.ON’s Building Services Academy hosted 10 trainees aged between 20 and 55 for courses on working at heights and manual handling.
The training scheme is one element of the joint project between Nottingham City Council, E.ON and Nottingham City Homes to install solar panels on up to 600 homes in the Aspley area of the city. The homes taking part could see their household energy bills falls by as much as £1201 a year1.
E.ON’s Building Services Academy will aim to equip local electricians with the knowledge they need to install and maintain solar panels, which will enable Nottingham to enhance its position as the UK’s most energy self-sufficient city.
Thomas Buss, Head of Microgeneration at E.ON’s Sustainable Energy business, said: “It’s fantastic that we can work with the community to provide affordable, renewable energy and help customers get energy fit but this partnership is bringing benefits to the city beyond that, providing training, skills and jobs to people as well.
“Nottingham is continually improving and building upon its energy efficiency status, and it’s important we support this long-term development by equipping local electricians with the skills they need to progress it further.
“We’re pleased to be able to offer such training to ensure local electricians are properly equipped to cope with the increased popularity of renewable energy.”
Tim Lowe, 19, from Nottingham took part in the training course to boost his working knowledge after earning an electrician’s qualification at college.
He said: “Since completing my college course I’ve found it difficult to find work or an apprenticeship. While I’m really proud of my qualification, I realised that employers value on-the-job skills – but I was struggling to find opportunities to gain this experience.
“This course has given me the chance to build upon the knowledge I gained at college with real-life working examples. And the best thing about it is the week’s work experience that I’ll complete as part of the course, which will help to boost my CV and put me in a better position for job opportunities.”
The training days took place at the same time as the 100th installation of the Aspley project, one of the largest domestic solar panel schemes in the UK.
Mr and Mrs Andrew on Redmile Road were the latest to see panels installed on their home and look forward to seeing the benefits.
Mr Andrew said: “The electricity used when my wife and I were at home yesterday cost us nothing until I turned on the TV in the evening.”
“It’s easy to keep track of how much electricity we use during daylight hours by checking the electric timer then filling in the energy calendar E.ON gave us after the installation.
Mrs Andrew added: “The workmen were lovely - really helpful and quick. They cleared up after themselves. The experience was totally hassle free!”
Councillor Alan Clark, Nottingham City Council's Portfolio Holder for Energy said: “Fuel poverty levels are set to soar as energy prices rise and help must be better targeted at those who need it the most.
“In addition to our investment in free solar panel roll-outs for thousands of homes across Nottingham over the next year, we also wanted to ensure that the local workforce benefited from the employment opportunities afforded by such large-scale energy installations.”
1 Based on the installation of a 1.88kW to 2.35kW solar photovoltaic system fitted to a south-facing roof exposed to average UK weather conditions on an assumed tariff rate of 13.3p/kWh.