Low Carbon Zone set to save carbon and cash

Merton is launching its very first Low Carbon Zone this week with the first in a series of low carbon advice surgeries for residents.

Called the Wandle Valley Low Carbon Zone, the residents set to benefit from two years worth of energy and cash saving initiatives live within the Phipps Bridge and the Cherry Tree Estate areas. The zone is made up of 1,000 properties across 12 streets and includes three schools, six businesses and a number of community groups.

The low carbon advice surgery will take place on Saturday 13 March between 1pm and 3.30pm. Merton’s Mayor Councillor Nick Draper will officially open the Low Carbon Zone at 1.30pm. Residents and local dignitaries will be at South Mitcham Community Hall ready to learn about what they can do to save cash, energy and the environment.

The surgery is one of 10 planned for the area over the next two years. They are designed to give residents personal support and advice about how to make their home more environmentally-friendly. Two Green Doctors have been recruited and will be visiting homes in the area by appointment to provide free energy saving equipment and advice, which will also save homeowners money and reduce their carbon emissions.

Merton has been selected by the Mayor of London to develop one of the first 10 Low Carbon Zones across the capital following a successful bid for £275,000. Becoming the home of a Low Carbon Zone, Merton has committed to cutting CO2 emissions from the properties within the zone by 20%, reducing residents’ energy bills and saving them potentially hundreds of pounds every year. The council has also signed up to helping local people acquire new skills to make the borough’s existing housing stock energy efficient and environmentally friendly, so creating a local green economy. All these commitments are to be fulfilled by April 2012.

The Wandle Valley Low Carbon Zone is funded and organised through a partnership which includes Merton Council, the Mayor of London, Sustainable Merton and Groundwork London. More information can be found at http://www.merton.gov.uk/wvlcz

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “I am delighted that residents of Wandle Valley will benefit from their very own green doctors. The Low Carbon Zones were designed to help people to go green with minimal hassle and these low carbon advice surgeries do just that.

“We are funding 10 of these zones across the capital to secure London’s reputation as a city at the forefront of the battle to cut the wasteful use of energy which is causing climate change.”

Director of Groundwork London Sue Walton said: “Groundwork London is committed to helping people to reduce their energy bills and get more for their money. Our Green Doctors will be able to explain the options and organise and implement energy saving measures in order to reduce Merton’s carbon footprint. The recent freezing weather means people’s fuel bills will be on the rise, for some to unmanageable levels, so it’s more important than ever to insulate our homes and save heat and money.”

Merton Council cabinet member for environment and leisure services Councillor David Simpson said: ‘The Wandle Valley Low Carbon Zone is a great example of what we want to see happen all over Merton in the future. Helping people to make small lifestyle changes which will save them money, cut energy consumption and safeguard our environment is a major way in which we can help reduce the carbon we emit as a borough. This zone will serve as a great example for the rest of us to follow and I’m looking forward to seeing how such a practical and hands-on initiative evolves over the years to come.’

-ENDS-

1. The Low Carbon Zones across London are: Wandle Valley, Merton; Muswell Hill, LB Haringey; Archway, LB Islington; Queen’s Park, LB Westminister; Barking, LB Barking & Dagenham; Ham and Petersham, LB Richmond; Hackbridge, LB Sutton; Brixton, LB Lambeth; Peckham, LB Southwark; Lewisham , LB Lewisham.

2. Each of the Mayor of London’s Low Carbon Zones are made up of approximately 1,000 homes to ensure they are targeted and residents receive the best advice and support.

3. In total, the Low Carbon Zones will cover over 13,000 residential properties, around 1,000 shops and businesses, 20 schools as well as a hospital, places of worship and community centres. They will be funded by the London Development Agency’s budget for climate change activities. The Mayor of London has pledged to cut emissions in London by 60% by 2025 and these zones will showcase how this can be achieved using existing and new technologies, helping to establish the capital as a leading low carbon city.

4. Sustainable Merton is a community led initiative giving local residents, groups, organisations and businesses the opportunity to stimulate practical action to make Merton a more sustainable community.

5. C Change is funded by the government’s Climate Challenge Fund and is a project which aims to engage young people who have some knowledge and concern about climate change in raising the awareness of their peers.

6. Groundwork London helps people and organisations make changes in order to create better neighbourhoods, to build skills and job prospects, and to live and work in a greener way.