Lifestyle changes win residents prizes

Significant lifestyle changes made by three residents living in Merton’s Wandle Valley Low Carbon Zone won them energy and cash saving prizes.

Local mother Jasia Fareed was awarded top prize after making significant changes to her energy consumption habits. Now the proud owner of a new A+ energy rated washing machine, Mrs Fareed is set to make an annual saving of cash (£20) and carbon. Mohammed Younus Qureshi won a stand-by saving kit, meaning he will never again waste electricity by leaving appliances on stand-by. He also won an electro-turbo iron which will save on electricity by cooling and heating quicker than normal irons and switches off completely when left unused.

A third lucky family have yet to choose their prizes which include a ceiling mounted clothes dryer and an eco kettle and toaster. Along with five other households, the three families kept a three-week energy diary. The diary keepers were chosen from 63 residents living in the Phipps Bridge and Cherry Tree estates, who completed an energy survey earlier this year.

The Low Carbon Zone’s Green Doctors, Andy Hutchinson and Gillian Clegg advised residents on how they could cut down on their energy usage and save money by making small lifestyle changes. To help them track their energy consumption, the Green Doctors gave them each an energy saving monitor displaying the amount of electricity they were using and how much it was costing them. Each day the residents noted in their diary the number of hours they spent watching television, using their washing machine, ironing and heating their homes.

Jasia said: “It’s great to see in front of your eyes your electricity use and bills going down. Just a little bit of thought like not using the microwave to defrost food, and turning the thermostat down by 1°C and washing at 30°C makes a big difference and it all adds up. I got so excited by the whole thing that I called my relatives in Pakistan and told them all about it.”

Merton Council cabinet member for environmental sustainability and regeneration Councillor Andrew Judge said: “Our Low Carbon Zone partnership with Groundwork London, Sustainable Merton and the GLA is all about how we can offer practical help to our residents. It is wonderful to see results of the invaluable work our Green Doctors are doing in Mitcham. This is just the beginning. Those of us who live outside the zone should follow the example of those living on the Phipps Bridge and Cherry Tree estates. If we all do the small things, we can not only save ourselves some cash, but also make a huge difference conserving the country’s energy supply and preserving the environment. “

Find out more about the Wandle Valley Low Carbon Zone: http://www.merton.gov.uk/wvlcz

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