Merton calls on residents to help with green home study

Merton Council is to conduct its first comprehensive study into the energy efficiency of the borough’s homes. The council will be assessing 75,000 homes across Merton and is looking for 10 volunteers who would be happy for qualified surveyors to carry out a more in-depth analysis of their homes.

Anyone wanting to volunteer their home for a free survey should e-mail their name, address and contact details to lowcarbonhomes@merton.gov.uk

Ahead of the in-depth surveys, the council will be sending energy surveyors to every Merton street over the next two months to review the age, type and construction of the properties, how they are constructed as well as the window and door types used. With an overall picture of the house types in the borough, surveyors will carry out face-to-face interviews with the volunteers about their energy usage, lifestyles and any steps they have taken to reduce energy consumption.

Once the interviews are completed, the ten volunteers will receive a detailed report that will show all the changes they could make to their lifestyle and their homes. It will look at the cost of making energy saving changes to their homes, how long it would take to recoup the money spent and how to implement energy saving measures into refurbishment work they may already be doing on their home.

The study will enable Merton Council to compile a database of homes in Merton, identifying their probable energy loss and the most appropriate measures to take to increase energy efficiency and lower CO2 emissions. The database will also allow the council to identify the most vulnerable people such as the elderly and those on low incomes which will enable it to set clear priorities when it comes to funding home energy efficiency improvement programmes.

Merton council cabinet member for the environment Councillor David Simpson said: ‘This is a marvellous opportunity for us to get a clearer picture of the energy efficiency of homes in Merton. We are always trying to put the needs of our residents first and this will enable us to advise them on how best to save money in these difficult economic times and reduce their energy use and CO2 emissions all at the same time.

‘A good example of an energy saving scheme we are already running is the regional London Warm Zone. We run one of the most successful schemes in the region and Merton injected £100,000 last year alone to help residents over 65 years of age insulate their homes, reduce energy consumption and bring down energy bills. The funding helped with the insulation of over 250 lofts and 120 properties with cavity walls in the borough. We want to further co-ordinate our approach to reducing carbon emissions and tackling fuel poverty. Funding schemes like the London Warm Zone and this important study makes sound environmental and economic sense.’

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