Could energy help disabled get back to work?

Utility Aid, a government scheme set up in 2002, has designed a programme that aims to help ex-inmates, disabled people and injured soldiers, get into jobs that will in turn […]

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By Tom Gibson

Utility Aid, a government scheme set up in 2002, has designed a programme that aims to help ex-inmates, disabled people and injured soldiers, get into jobs that will in turn help manage our energy consumption. The scheme, called the Utility Initiative, intends to solve the problems facing injured troops by training them for jobs which they can structure around their disability. The scheme says it would also put the UK’s prisoners back into work.

Utility Aid will help train Energy Efficiency Managers, who would help analyse the energy consumption of public sector buildings. The initiative has been active for two years and has put four people with disabilities into jobs.

The NHS and MoD together spend over £800 million on energy every year, a figure that Utility Aid aims to seriously reduce. The UK’s 85,000 prisoners cost the UK £3.5 billion a year with a further £12.5 billion being spent each year on helping the 2.6 million on incapacity benefits. The Government sees some of this as unnecessary and aims to reduce the waste by putting those that are willing and able back into work, as part of David Cameron’s vision of the “Big Society”

Utility aid is a consultancy that specialises in helping drive down energy costs for charities and not for profit organisations. Next month its expected energy companies including Scottish and Southern Energy and Total Gas and Power will declare their support for the initiative.