How Green Is My Wandle Valley?

Project manager appointed to lead development of Low Carbon Zone

Merton will be getting more energy efficient, with the appointment of a project manager to lead the development of the council’s Low Carbon Zone.

Dr Ross Mitchell, who has just taken up the post at Merton Council, says his aim is to encourage local people to reduce their energy consumption by changing their daily behaviour in ways that best suit themselves.

The Wandle Valley Low Carbon Zone is one of 10 zones designated by Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, where residents will benefit from two years worth of energy and money-saving initiatives.

The zone covers 1,000 properties, across 12 streets, within the Phipps Bridge and the Cherry Tree Estate areas. It includes three schools, six businesses and a number of community groups.

A small community was deliberately picked to ensure it functions effectively and residents, businesses and community groups can more easily receive advice and support. The council hopes residents will be able to improve their home, lower energy bills and enhance their skills and employment opportunities by 2012.

Dr Mitchell, who joined Merton from the Energy Efficiency Partnership for Homes (EEPH), 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.

"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.”

The council has also pledged to organise and run 10 energy advice surgeries to give families in the zone personal help and information. It will recruit two ‘Green Doctors’ - trained energy saving experts who will visit homes in the zone and install free energy-saving equipment.

Volunteers will also be trained as ‘Climate Change Champions’, to teach neighbours how to change the smaller things in their homes and their lives that will save money and reduce energy use.

March 18, 2010

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