New Merton recruit to lead on borough’s Low Carbon Zone

Merton Council has just recruited its own Low Carbon Zone project manager who will lead on the development of the zone over the next two years.

Taking up his post on 8 March, Dr Ross Mitchell joins Merton from the Energy Efficiency Partnership for Homes (EEPH) where he was Partnership Co-ordinator for three years. At the EEPH Ross was responsible for overseeing a programme of work to inform the development of government policy on domestic energy efficiency.

Major achievements in Ross’s career to date include the development of the cross-departmental Heat and Hot Water taskforce. The taskforce was set up to inform government about the issues to be addressed to meet the legally binding national carbon budgets and provide effective delivery of the post-2012 Home Energy Management Strategy. Ross also managed the Solid Wall Insulation Supply Chain Review published jointly with the Energy Saving Trust in April 2009. The research has been widely acknowledged across the industry as being vital in informing the government’s Community Energy Saving Programme consultation. Through this consultation the government has required energy suppliers and generators to meet CO2 reduction targets by providing homes and communities with measures to save energy.

Prior to working at the EEPH, Ross was a research officer at the University of Bath (2000-2006). Here he established an international network of academics, engineers, clinicians and business agencies to draw together work in the area of ergonomics and human movement. Ross completed his PhD in biomechanics in 2004. His work resulted in a pioneering computer model of a human that could be used to accurately predict the movement that would occur in different work environments. This was used to assist engineers with ergonomic design.

On his first day at Merton Council, Ross said: “I am looking forward to seeing our Low Carbon Zone become a great success. It is by encouraging people at a local level to reduce their energy consumption, and advising them how they can best do this, that we can all make a difference. The Low Carbon Zone is all about personally engaging people in lightening their carbon footprint by changing their daily behaviour in the ways that best suit them.’

“When working together central government, alongside industry, can achieve great steps towards the large-scale work required to create a truly environmentally-conscious world. As individuals, if we all do the simple things like switching off lights when we don’t need them, using our heating controls to only provide heat where and when we need it, or ensuring our walls and lofts are adequately insulated, we can significantly reduce our energy consumption which importantly saves CO2 but at the same time saves some cash too.”

Merton Council cabinet member for environment and leisure services Councillor David Simpson said: “We welcome Ross to Merton and look forward to working with him on the development of this exciting, new project. We will undoubtedly benefit from his invaluable experience to date and I am confident that, with Ross’s help, our Low Carbon Zone will be held up as an important example of the environmental improvements we can all make to our homes and lifestyles.”

-ENDS-

Notes to editors

Merton is one of 10 Low Carbon Zones across London area. Each of the Mayor of London’s Low Carbon Zones are made up of no more than 1,000 homes to ensure they are effective and residents receive the best advice and support. In total, the Low Carbon Zones on average will save over 23% CO2 by 2012. The 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.

The Energy Efficiency Partnership for Homes is a network of over 560 organisations from the public, private and voluntary sectors. The Partnership’s aim is to inform the government’s domestic energy efficiency developing policy with expertise from across its supply chain network to reduce the energy consumed by UK households as well as the number of people who are unable to sufficiently heat their homes during winter (known as ‘fuel poverty’).