services company, Future Energy Solutions Ltd, invested £100,000 into the new
centre which has created six new jobs and is expected to create new employment opportunities
for up to 2,000 trained engineers over the next five years.
Based on Invincible Drive in Newcastle, the centre is the first of its kind to open in the north east of England. It offers accredited training to those wishing to become smart meter installers. Up to 400 candidates will be trained every year.
Smart Meters are a new kind of energy meter which replace existing meters and work by communicating directly with the energy supplier. Smart Meters will ensure that all energy bills will be based on real time reading rather than estimates and customers can track energy usage accurately.
Tim Cantle-Jones, Managing Director of Future Energy Solutions said: “This vocational training is very relevant and important at this time when plans are being put in place by energy suppliers to ensure that smart meters are installed in every house by 2020.
"We are delighted that this course will support the training of smart meter engineers from the North East, Yorkshire and Scotland"
The training centre is being operated in partnership with Nutech Training, which is based in Blackburn and has been delivering training for smart meter installers for over 18 months.
Neil Turner, Managing Director of Nutech Training said: “There is still a massive shortage of qualified smart metering engineers needed to support the government’s plans. This agreement with Future Energy Solutions provides an opportunity for the north east to be one of the first areas in the country to see widespread roll out of smart meter installations.”
Councillor Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council. He said: “I welcome this new business and congratulate them for creating these jobs in Newcastle. Energy bills take up so much of a household’s monthly income, so it can only be a good thing if accurate information enables people to better manage their money.
“Smart technology has many different applications and as it becomes more widespread will play an important role in the future of our cities.”
An open day will be held at the centre on Tuesday 4 March for anyone interested in undertaking the training.
For more information please contact Jennifer Robson on 07577999757 or Nicola Little on 07939 537 123 or email WeAreSparkle@gmail.com
Notes for editors
1. Future Energy Solutions Ltd is a newly formed company, based in Newcastle and is working in partnership with Nutech Ltd, a Blackburn based company and part of the Bglobal group, which is one of only four companies in the UK who have the necessary accreditation needed to deliver training for Smart Meter Installers.
2. Smart meters are a replacement for existing meters and work by communicating directly with an energy supplier. There is no need to take meter readings. The three main benefits are: no requirement to read the meter; energy bills will be accurate - no more estimated bills or over or under-paying; customer can accurately track energy use.
3. The plan is for smart meters to be in every home by 2020, with the roll-out scheduled to start in autumn 2015. Rolling out 53 million gas and electricity meters to all homes and small businesses in Great Britain by the end of 2020 requires careful planning and management by Ofgem. Most households will have smart meters installed by their energy company between 2015 and 2020.
4. All installers of smart meters have to be trained; even existing, qualified meter engineers need to be up skilled to install smart meters.