Boris kick starts 200,000 green home makeover plan

London Mayor Boris Johnson and the coalition of London Councils have this week officially commenced plans to curb energy use from at least 200,000 by 2012 with the launch of a series of trials designed to help up to 10,000 homes save energy.

Under the scheme, residents in nine boroughs will be offered a free green home advisory service, including access to low carbon energy saving technologies such as more efficient light bulbs. Households in areas selected to take part in the trials will receive a letter inviting a follow-up visit from a qualified and accredited home energy assessor, who will install eligible energy efficiency measures and provide further energy saving advice.

The Mayor's Office said that earlier trials of the scheme have shown that this door-to-door approach increases the level of participation by residents.

It added that the second phase of the trial would aim to provide more ambitious green makeovers including subsidised or free as loft and cavity wall insulation, while the long term aim is to expand the scheme to cover between 200,000 to 500,000 properties by 2012 and 1.2m domestic properties by 2015, " subject to the leverage of additional finances from government and the private sector".

According to figures from the Mayor's Office, even simple measures could cut London's carbon emissions by 350,000 tonnes by 2015 while further measures such as insulation could curb emissions by over 1.2m by the same date.

"With more than a third of London's climate change emissions being generated from domestic properties, making our homes more energy efficient is a no brainer," said Johnson. "London is crying out for a much more simple, easy to access scheme to help people go green, and these trials will help us create this."

His comments were echoed by David Kenington, head of Energy Saving Trust London, who predicted that the scheme should help bolster the domestic energy efficiency sector in the capital.

"London for many years has not received its fair share of CERT funding for insulation measures, due to higher delivery costs in London and practical issues such as parking for installer's vehicles," he said. "However, by using this area based approach, and linking with Energy Saving Trust advice, we see that this will both improve uptake of insulation measures, and provide Londoners with the right advice as to how to move towards a low carbon lifestyle."

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