Social tenants offered free energy advice
Social housing tenants in parts of London are to be offered free advice on improving the energy efficiency of their homes.
The Greater London Authority is rolling out its Re:new advice scheme to 55,000 homes – including social housing – following successful trials.
The scheme offers residents in eligible areas (see below for details) free basic measures to improve energy efficiency, such as low energy light bulbs, radiator panels and stand-by switches. It also offers advice on more efficient use of water.
Where appropriate, the efficiency advisors will also recommend if more substantial measures such as loft and cavity wall insulation should be installed. They will give advice on what funding schemes are available to help with the cost of such work.
Re:new has been tested in two pilot schemes, covering 9,000 homes in total. Residents managed to save £154 a year on their annual energy and water bills. Rising energy prices now mean the savings could be closer to £180 a year.
The GLA is introducing the scheme in all 32 boroughs by the end of the year, with the aim of treating 55,000 homes by 2012. It is spending £5.8 million, including the cost of the pilots, but hopes to attract more funding through the government’s green deal initiative to allow the scheme to continue beyond 2012.
The overall aim is to expand the scheme to cover 200,000 homes by the end of 2012, and 1.2 million by the end of 2015.
One of the factors used to choose the areas that are eligible for the scheme is fuel poverty, and it is open to all housing types and tenures, including privately owned homes, rented properties, and social housing.
Residents will receive a letter ahead of a visit from an energy efficiency advisor, who will conduct a 90-minute assessment of their property. They will then be given an energy efficiency report, and have basic energy saving measures installed.
A spokesperson for the GLA said most of the equipment could be put in place without having to get permission from a landlord.
London mayor Boris Johnson said: ‘This will save millions off fuel bills and fundamentally improve quality of life for Londoners. You’d be crazy not to go for it.’
The GLA is running the scheme in partnership with the Energy Saving Trust and London Councils. Boroughs are responsible for managing it locally, working with their delivery partners.
The Re:new roll out
Re:new operates in selected areas of the London boroughs, and is being introduced as follows
Current: Barking and Dagenham, Hackney, Lewisham, Waltham Forest
From this month: Croydon, Lambeth, Wandsworth
From September: Barnet, Bexley, Brent, Bromley, Camden, Ealing, Enfield, Greenwich, Hammersmith and Fulham, Haringey, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Southwark, Westminster
From October: Havering, Newham, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets
From November: Merton, Richmond, Sutton