Friday, August 08, 2008

Hackney Homes residents commit to ‘green’ challenge

Published by Jon Land for Hackney Homes in Housing 
Thursday 24th July 2008 - 10:48am

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Hackney Homes residents commit to 'green' challengeHackney Homes residents commit to 'green' challenge

Many households are feeling the pressure as the cost of living increases, driving up the price of the essentials such as food, petrol and energy.

Reducing the amount of energy used not only helps to reduce the impact on the environment, but also helps to reduce household bills.

This challenge is being tackled head on by a group of residents who are committed to spending the next year saving both energy and money.  Residents on the Whiston and Goldsmith Estate in Hackney are pioneering the way for other residents in the borough, taking part in the Hackney Homes ‘Green Estate’ programme.

This innovative pilot programme, also supported by London Energy Efficiency, Hackney Council and energy supplier npower, is looking at how ‘green’ the estate can be and helping residents to reduce their carbon footprint. It is addressing energy consumption, recycling, transport and innovations such as solar heating.  “As landlord to more than 30,000 properties, Hackney Homes wants to take a leading role in reducing the carbon footprint and making sure our properties are energy efficient,” said Alan Turner from Hackney Homes.  “We are working with the residents on Whiston and Goldsmith for the next year to see what can be achieved. The estate is quite typical of the types of building we have in the borough, so we hope to be able to extend this programme in the future.”

The programme was launched earlier this month at a fun day on the estate, giving residents the chance to learn more about how they can save energy and get involved in the programme.  Councillor Sophie Linden, Lead Member for Customer and Corporate Services and Environmental Sustainability, said: “Reducing how much energy we consume will not only make a difference for the future, but can also help residents to save money. This programme will show residents that small changes can have a big impact.”

In the coming week’s residents on the estate will receive a free electricity monitor and two energy saving light bulbs supplied by npower.  The real time displays npower has supplied to Hackney Homes will help residents make thinking about saving energy part of their daily routine.  The monitors help to better understand how much energy and money can be saved through simple actions such as not leaving appliances on standby, turning lights off and washing at lower temperatures. Estimates from the Energy Savings Trust indicate households can save on average £280 per year by simply using energy better.

They will also receive tips about how they can reduce their energy usage from London Energy Efficiency and Hackney Homes who, over the next year, will be monitoring usage and bills to see the impact of material changes to the estates.  Residents will also be learning about climate change and looking at more sustainable transport and options for the estate.

Doreen Emerick, Secretary of Whiston and Goldsmiths Estate said: “We are proud to be the first estate to take on the challenge to be the greenest estate in Hackney. We see this as a win win for us. Not only will we save money, we will also do our bit to save the planet”  As part of a wider Government programme to help householders save money and energy, npower has also developed an insulation initiative for privately owned properties.

Anyone who owns their own home and is aged 70 or over or in receipt of certain Government benefits, could be entitled to free cavity wall and loft insulation. Homeowners don’t have to be an npower customer and can find out more by phoning npower on 0800 980 2135, quoting ‘Hackney’.

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