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Grassroots

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I wonder how interested the average social housing tenant is in getting to a low carbon future. There is no reason why they should be, any more than homeowners or private renters. But the different is, the government wants the social housing sector to lead the way and is pushing it to do so with carrot and stick.

Given that drive from the top, I’m always pleased to come across projects that are designed by the people will be living in the green homes. So the news that the largest housing co-operative in Britain is planning to build a code level six house makes me happy.

Quite apart from the pleasant surprise that anyone is still pushing forward with zero carbon technologies amidst the doom and gloom, it is good to see signs that tenants back extra spending on the green agenda.

One of my favourite winners of the Sustainable Housing Awards last year (take note – this year’s deadline for entries is 15 May) was the C60 project in London. Run by the Sanford Housing Co-operative in London, it aims to cut emissions from the co-operative’s homes by 60 per cent. Residents went on a course at the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales, decided what kind of renewable technology was best and made the project happen. Behaviour is key in cutting carbon emissions - so it is essential that tenants do want to lead the way.

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