By Daniel Hunter
As the temperatures plummet and Londoners fight the freeze, the Mayor’s homes energy efficiency programme has reached a milestone by reaching 40,000 homes this week, helping to save an estimated £4 million off energy bills.
The RE:NEW energy efficiency programme is being provided to homes across the capital and our research shows that residents who receive a visit can make savings of up to £180 a year, helping to keep their homes cosy and worry less about the bills.
This equates to at least a £4million collective cash saving as well reaping environmental benefits by cutting CO2 emissions - contributing towards the Mayor's target to cut carbon by 60 per cent by 2025 - and economic benefits from stimulating hundreds of jobs. Energy waste is tackled through the installation of a range of measures such as low energy light bulbs, radiator panels and stand-by switches.
RE:NEW is retrofitting thousands of homes each week and is set to deliver 55,000 in total by May. RE:NEW teams are active in areas across London and it is the first city-wide scheme that is being offered to every household, regardless of whether privately owned or rented, and to combine both energy and water efficiency measures.
"I want to help Londoners tackle the cold and cope better with rising fuel bills," Boris Johnson said.
"RE:NEW is working to do this with tens of thousands of homes across the capital now set to benefit following an energy efficiency makeover.
"Retrofitting activity is now taking place on an unprecedented scale and is stimulating thousands of jobs in the burgeoning green economy."
The programme, set up with £7.8m from the Mayor, is now operating successfully in all boroughs across the capital and Boris Johnson is committed to invest further to deliver tens of thousands more homes.
Discussions with Government are ongoing to secure more funds into the programme, which has been designed to maximise both energy savings and the potential to attract investment from national schemes such as Carbon Emissions Reduction Target programme, the Warm Front programme and the Green Deal.
RE:NEW provides a tailor-made range of energy-reducing devices installed for free by a trained assessor. Where suitable, more substantial measures such as loft and cavity wall insulation, are offered which are subsidised for those able to pay and free for those on qualifying benefits helping to tackle fuel poverty.
Trained individuals work with residents to explain what benefits they may be entitled to. In some cases this has led to additional entitlements and due payments being identified. For example, following a RE:NEW consultation, a couple were advised they were able to claim £45 ,000 in pension payments owed to them, as well as securing a higher level of payments going forward.
With 80 per cent of carbon emissions coming from buildings, this service is part of the Mayor’s vision to “retrofit" London to create an energy efficient city, stimulate 'green-collar' jobs and help the city become more resilient to rising fuel prices. RE:NEW is funded by the Mayor and all 32 London boroughs have signed as partners in the scheme, which is being delivered in partnership with London Councils and the Energy Saving Trust.
Further to this, the Mayor is currently calling on London's students to come up with the next generation of bright ideas and innovations to deliver energy efficiency in buildings. The Mayor is offering a £20,000 cash pot through the Mayor's Low Carbon Prize, which aimed at all London students and will be judged by a prestigious panel including Sir Terry Farrell and Zac Goldsmith MP, in March.
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