Minister visits Salford’s Energy Hub as first students graduate
Energy Minister, Charles Hendry, visited Salford yesterday to see how the University is combining training and cutting-edge technology to meet the UK’s carbon emissions targets and reduce fuel poverty.
The Minister was at the University’s Energy House to present the first certificates of completion for a new Infrared Thermography CPD course being as part of a major training collaboration with the low carbon business support company, Envirolink. The Minister’s visit marks the completion of the very first of the courses, which are part of a new suite of programmes for professionals working in the building and housing sectors.
During his visit Mr Hendry also toured the ERDF-funded Energy House – a unique, fully rebuilt terraced house inside a climate controlled lab, which is used to test the very latest technology and behavioural science in domestic carbon reduction. He also met students on the CPD course who range from architects and builders to insulation workers and energy assessors.
Awarding the first certificate, Energy Minister Charles Hendry commented on the uniqueness of the scheme and said: “This is an outstanding example of a university working with business to tackle one of the biggest national challenges we are facing.
“When dealing with energy efficiency, consumers want independent verification, and this is what this programme is delivering.”
The course, which lasts for two days, is designed to give participants the skills they need to master this technology and use it to monitor heat loss from buildings. With these skills they can create new opportunities for work and help people and businesses save money on fuel bills.
The first student to be presented with a certificate was Mike Hughes of construction company, Hughes Brothers Ltd, based in Leigh. Mike said: “We’re pioneering new methods of construction so this course gives us the skills to use new types of technology.
“Prevention is much better than a cure, so constructing buildings which lose energy is far more effective than installing renewable energy sources afterwards.”
The collaboration between the University and Envirolink aims to provide a range of courses to address the massive task of reducing carbon emissions from the UK’s building stock by 80% from 1990 levels. The courses also represent a significant step in providing the skills needed to retrofit an estimated 21 million homes with insulating and energy efficient technology.
Envirolink Chief Executive, Nick Storer said: “The minister’s visit shows the quality of the facilities and training we’ve been able to develop alongside the University. We’re proud of our first graduates and looking forward to working with the University to ensure this collaboration becomes a market leader in the provision of CPD training in the energy and built environment.”
Professor George Baxter, Director of Research and Innovation at the University said: “The work being carried out by Salford and Envirolink is addressing an issue of key national importance, so we’re glad that the minister came to see what we’re doing.
“We firmly believe that combining cutting-edge research and business expertise can make a huge difference in combating fuel poverty and reducing carbon emissions.”