Jersey is ahead of the UK when it comes to reaching net zero, with a commitment to prohibit the installation of new gas and oil boilers from 2026. This bold move forms part of Jersey’s Carbon Neutral Roadmap.
To support the transition away from fossil fuel heating, the island is introducing a Low Carbon Heating Incentive, designed to support householders and commercial businesses make the transition, utilising highly efficient heat pumps where possible. In order to facilitate these plans, the island needs suitably trained installers, which is where GTEC has stepped in.
We have recently been to Jersey, supporting Highlands College in setting up the training required to meet the governments targets. This is the first ‘on-island’ training covering heat pumps and associated courses – in the past installers had to go to the UK mainland to undertake the necessary qualifications.
Tony Tyrer, Assistant Principal for Planning and Skills at Highlands College, explains how the arrangement with GTEC came about:
” Just prior to COVID, some government funding was secured to deliver renewables training on-island and GTEC was identified as the preferred training provider, due to the company’s wide-ranging experience in the sector and their willingness to engage with us in terms of advice and guidance prior to the course delivery.
” The pandemic held things up considerably, but once we came out of COVID, the government in Jersey provided us with targeted funding to help tackle issues around workforce mobility and address the skills gaps in specific areas of growing industry demand. We engaged with industry on-island to ensure that our plans for new course delivery reflected the localised need for renewable technology design and installation.
” Our discussions with the industry and government policy offers has enabled us to focus initially on training and assessment around the installation of Air Source Heat Pumps, identified as one of the lead technologies to replace fossil fuels under Jersey’s Carbon Neutral Roadmap.
” The funding we secured enabled us to commission GTEC to provide us with bespoke training and assessment rigs, which have been installed at the college. We now have the essential resources required deliver up-skill training and to embed renewable technology training into our related apprenticeship schemes – a valuable legacy for the college and the whole of Jersey. This training will be necessary to become an approved contractor under the Contractor Quality Scheme, a requirement of participation in the low carbon heating incentive.
” Our cohort is wide ranging. Highlands College of Further and Higher Education provides education for 800 school leavers, 900 adults on apprenticeships or part-time courses and 200 higher education students. There’s also provision for 2000 adults on leisure courses and 600 students on professional development programmes.
” We employ 187 full-time staff and a further 200 part-time staff. All our tutors are dual professionals; industry certified and qualified in teaching and learning.
” In response to our government’s ambitions plans – and in order to ensure industry is appropriately prepared for the increased demand for renewables, we have put in place measures to establish courses in the following subjects – to run in addition to our Level 3 apprenticeship courses in plumbing and electrical engineering. We now offer:
City and Guilds 2391 Combined Award in Initial Verification and Periodic Inspection
City and Guilds 2282 IET Wiring Regulations (BS7671)
“We have been delighted with the help Griff has given us in establishing Highlands College as an excellent provider of renewables training and look forward to helping the government meet its targets, both in the short and long-term.”
Jersey’s Carbon Neutral Roadmap
In April 2022, Jersey’s Carbon Neutral Roadmap was agreed by its States Assembly. The second largest emissions source on island is from the heating sector and is therefore a key focus. The Low Carbon Heating Incentive, which is currently in the pilot phase, offers match funding of up to £5,000 when switching from an oil or gas boiler to a low carbon alternative. Those qualifying as low-income can access £10,000 of funding, without the need to match-fund.
Technologies currently included in the scheme are air source heat pumps, electric flow boilers and electric storage/panel radiators. Applicants may also apply for funding for energy efficiency measures, such as insulation.
All applications are installer-led and made through the Scheme Administrator.
Phase 2 of this scheme will launch in Q2 2023.
The Price of Power
Apart from funding for low carbon heating alternatives (similar to the UK’s Boiler Upgrade Scheme), a big driver behind the electrification of heat on Jersey is the price of power. For 20 hours of the day, electricity costs just 12p per hour – a lot cheaper than our currently capped 34p. Power comes from the French grid, which is very low carbon.
In comparison, gas costs 19p per hour and oil is over £1 a litre. This means that even electric panel heaters are more cost-effective than gas and oil boilers and heat pumps are extremely cost effective. Overall, electricity is 4-5 times cheaper than fossil fuel alternatives on the island.
For more information about GTEC’s range of renewable courses, click here.