Campaigners believe Merton residents could reduce their energy use by more than a third after a month’s research in the borough.
Green campaigners believe Merton residents could reduce their energy use by more than a third after a month’s research in the borough.
Project ‘Energise Merton’ involved volunteers trained by Sustainable Merton, London Sustainability Exchange and the Parity Project visiting 109 Merton homes.
Over several months the volunteers made brief assessments of the energy efficiency of peoples’ homes and their awareness of sustainability.
The project aims to help local people identify possible energy savings and get the borough prepared for the Government’s Green Deal, launching in October.
Sustainable Merton’s Community Engagement Officer Tom Walsh believes residents could save 35 percent of their energy use with better advice.
He said: “Most people’s houses are still quite inefficient, but people are keen to change their behaviour.
“People didn’t know that much about the Green Deal. They were quite concerned about the day to day practicalities; one woman even asked what would happen to her dogs.
“The campaign ended up going quite viral because the people we visited then went to and told their neighbours about it.”
The Deal is part of the 2011 Energy Act and aims to revolutionise British properties’ energy efficiency and reduce the country’s carbon emissions.
London Sustainability Exchange spokesperson Sumi Ejuri said volunteers advised residents to set heating on a timer, reduce the level of their thermostat or split their homes into different heating zones.
She said: “We found the majority were environmentally aware and they all showed a keen interest in wanting to be more so and change things in their households.”
In Merton 65 percent of homes were built pre-1935, meaning they are difficult to insulate and not very energy efficient.
Sally Parkes of Latimer Road, Wimbledon, said: “I had my house insulated as soon as I moved in because you could just feel the heat seeping out of it.
“My bills are always at least £45 a month, which could be worse, but it would be nice if I was given some help to make my home more efficient.”
If you are interested in making savings in your home contact www.sustainablemerton.org for advice.
Follow us on Twitter @SW_Londoner