Qualified gas boiler fitters in Scotland are in great demand thanks to a new government-led home eco-improvement drive, which is helping homeowners become more energy efficient.

Increased demand for energy-saving services has seen Direct Savings, specialists in home energy efficiency, offer 20 immediate job opportunities for gas engineers in Scotland. It is expected job openings will continue to grow as the surge in homeowners wanting energy-saving work intensifies.

Edward Davey, Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change, said he believes developments in the sector will empower SMEs to enter and expand the growing energy-efficiency market, providing key innovation and the creation of new jobs at both local and national levels.

The jobs drive is fuelled by the government’s Green Deal and ECO schemes, which are designed to reduce the UK’s energy consumption and to support people living in fuel poverty. Through ECO in particular, householders on low income or benefits will be able to qualify for loft insulation, cavity wall insulation or boiler replacements – all provided free of charge through £1.6 billion annual funding provided by the big energy providers.

Direct Savings has entered a partnership with Essex-based Climate Energy, which could potentially see them undertake 12,400 loft insulations, 1,800 cavity wall insulations and 1,800 boiler replacements under the ECO scheme over the next 12 months.

The initial ECO contract is worth around £12 million, but Direct Savings believes there is massive potential for further partnership work with Climate Energy in the coming months, which could see further programmes of work topping £70 million.

Direct Savings managing director Ged Smith said “I think it’s just fantastic that we can provide 20 opportunities of employment so soon into this ongoing jobs boom. This really is a time for people looking for work to look very closely at the opportunities in the energy-efficiency sector and get involved.

“The green sector is growing rapidly and the need for more staff is increasing alongside. We want passionate, hard-working individuals that can be part of this push and ultimately save homeowners money and reduce carbon emissions.

“We are in a position where we can provide jobs now in a sector that has so much to offer, and in terms of its future is very exciting and, more importantly, secure.”