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Mayor helps homes across nine more boroughs get energy efficient and save cash

Mayor helps homes across nine more boroughs get energy efficient and save cash
From press releases - 27 September 2011 09:00 AM

  • RE:NEW programme helping to make homes energy efficient could save £100s off annual fuel bills
  • 1,500 housing association homes get solar panels thanks to RE:NEW

“Green energy doctors” are giving more homes across nine boroughs in the capital an energy efficiency makeover and the Mayor of London is urging eligible Londoners to take up the free service.

Homes in specific areas in Wandsworth, Croydon, Brent, Ealing, Harrow, Hillingdon, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets and Hounslow are the next to benefit from the RE:NEW energy efficiency programme, helping to save hundreds of pounds off Londoners' energy bills. To find out if you are in an area which is getting the RE:NEW treatment go tohttp://www.london.gov.uk/priorities/environment/climate-change/energy-efficiency/RENEW/get-involved

The RE:NEW programme has already started in Lewisham, Waltham Forest, Newham and Barking and Dagenham with 1,742 homes being treated with energy and water efficiency measures since the roll out of the scheme in these boroughs. The RE:NEW scheme has also led to thousands of housing association tenants benefitting from solar panels and therefore cheaper energy bills. Thanks to RE:NEW the L&Q Housing Association and British Gas have been able to install solar panels on 1,500 housing association homes so far, with a further 22,500 homes to benefit in the next few months. By using the RE:NEW framework of suppliers which are geared up and ready to deliver, L&Q were able to benefit quicker from funding available through the Government’s Feed In tariff, something they couldn’t have done if they had to start procurement from scratch.

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. The RE:NEW team will be active in selected areas across all London boroughs offering the service. It is being provided to 55,000 homes in specific areas across the capital between now and the end of March 2012. This includes a tailor-made range of energy-reducing devices installed by a trained assessor. The scheme will provide a range of different measures for free such as low energy light bulbs, radiator panels and stand-by switches. It also offers water saving measures. Where appropriate, more substantial measures, such as loft and cavity wall insulation, will be offered. These will be subsidised for those able to pay and free for those on qualifying benefits helping to tackle fuel poverty.

Creating full-time employment for local people through the RE:NEW scheme is also key benefit and one which the Mayor is committed to building on through the expansion of the programme.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said:

“Retrofitting London's homes and buildings has a multiplicity of benefits for all of us. It makes sound economic sense by saving you money on your fuel bills, it reduces the pumping out of C02 and it creates much-needed jobs. I would urge Londoners to take advantage of this free service."

Councillor Catherine West, Chair of London Councils Transport and Environment Committee, said:

"We are clear that one of the ways to combat the rising risk of fuel poverty in the capital is to improve the energy efficiency of our homes and RE:NEW is helping Londoners to do that. It's a step in the right direction but there is a lot more still to do. I would urge as many residents as possible to take advantage of this scheme."

Philip Sellwood, Chief Executive of the Energy Saving Trust, said:

“One of our main aims is to ensure that householders across the nation are empowered with the right tools to help them to cut their energy bills. RE:NEW offers them this opportunity and we’re very excited about the potential of this scheme.”

RE:NEW was successfully trialled in nearly 9,000 homes in nine London boroughs. Residents in these trials made savings of up to £154 on their annual energy and water bills but it is estimated savings could now be up to £180 a year taking into account recent energy price rises. The trials saved nearly 3,500 tonnes of CO2, equivalent to 3,000 cars coming off London’s roads.

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.

The RE:NEW offer involves a full home energy survey carried out by a qualified home energy advisor, which takes roughly 90 minutes to do. Residents then get a tailor-made energy saving report once the visit is complete and have a range of free energy saving measures installed. The survey will also identify whether loft, cavity or solid wall insulation could be installed. If so, the advisor will check for eligibility for national funding from sources such as the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) and Warm Front (a government scheme providing insulation and heating improvements to vulnerable people in fuel poverty) as well as local borough grant schemes. At the same time as improving energy efficiency, RE:NEW aims to reduce fuel poverty in London and each household will be offered a benefits check to ensure residents are claiming all of the benefits and grants they are entitled to. The London boroughs are responsible for managing RE:NEW locally and are working in partnership with appointed delivery agents who will be conducting the initial home visits and assessments. All advisors will carry clear identification.

RE:NEW is not an 'on-demand' service and is being delivered on an area by area basis because trials showed this approach resulted in more cost-effective and higher take up, helping to ensure that the city's ambitious targets can be met. It has been designed to be as easy as possible for residents. The aim is to attain the funding to expand the programme to 1.2 million homes by 2015. This will be subject to additional funding being secured principally through the Government's 'Green Deal'. RE:NEW is providing a consistent homes energy efficiency approach across London removing duplications and improving efficiencies, for example in reducing procurement costs.

The Mayor is also working with the Olympic Delivery Authority who are providing over £1m of funding to extend the RE:NEW scheme to additional homes and retrofit up to 12 schools through the Mayor's RE:FIT programme in four of the Olympic host boroughs. The pioneering new project will help the ODA reach the target to reduce the carbon emissions of the Park by 50 per cent.