London Mayor launched UK's first 'green homes' service

The Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, on December 4, launched the UK’s first ‘green homes’ service to help Londoners cut climate change emissions by offering an easy, one-stop-shop for information on how to make homes more carbon efficient.

The flagship London Green Homes service is unique to the capital, and will offer a free comprehensive telephone advice service, a free website and a paid-for green ‘concierge’ service to provide a hassle-free tailor-made package of carbon saving lifestyle improvements.

The advice service will be highly flexible, offering Londoners advice on any actions to reduce carbon emissions from their lifestyle, and explain how best to save money on energy bills.

The London Green Homes service is part of delivering the Mayor’s Climate Change Action Plan – a comprehensive programme of initiatives to reduce carbon emissions by 60 per cent by 2025, including programmes for the capital\'s homes, organisations, transportation and energy supply system.

Sixty per cent of London’s housing was built before 1945, compared to 40 per cent nationally so it is less energy efficient than the UK average.

Over £4 million has been allocated to the Green Homes programme in 2007-08 and it aims to cut 500,000 tonnes of carbon emissions per year by 2010.

The Mayor opened the service with Nicky Gavron, Deputy Mayor of London and Darren Johnson, a London Assembly Green Party member, at a specially designed life-size eco-house in Trafalgar Square.

The exhibition house named ‘No 1 Lower Carbon Drive’ will tour the capital to promote the new services, and to showcase ideas to ‘green’ your home.

The London Green Homes Service consists of:

1. The Green Homes Advice Service: An information website – - where Londoners can access information and advice on how to reduce their carbon footprint. It includes interactive sections such as a carbon calculator, and advise on what grants are available to make changes

2. A free telephone helpline – 0800 512012- to access one-to-one, personalised advice from experienced staff on how to make your home ‘green’

3. The Green Homes Concierge Service: a paid-for concierge service - which has already been successfully piloted across London and is designed for homeowners who want to make more significant changes to their homes without the hassle. The innovative tailor-made service provides a customised audit of a property, including a thermal image, and a ‘blow door’ test to identify sources of draughts; a report of recommended ways to reduce emissions; and, if wanted, full project management of a programme to cut emissions, including sourcing of competitive quotes. The subsidised service will cost £199 for annual membership.
For more information call: 0800 089 0098.

Ken Livingstone, said: "In London, energy use in the homes is the single biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions.

"But much of the energy we pay for in our homes is simply wasted, and there are simple changes we can make to cut energy use without any reduction in our quality of life – indeed the average household will save £300 if they carry out the Green Homes programme.

"We know Londoners want to help prevent climate change, and London Green Homes will provide the information and on-going support to enable them do so.

"I am proud that London is now leading the UK in offering a comprehensive and flexible ‘green homes’ service, as part of our wider programme to cut London’s carbon emissions by 60 per cent by 2025."

Nicky Gavron, Deputy Mayor of London, said: "The Green Concierge Service launched today across London is hassle free and easy-to-use because it is tailored to each household’s needs. And it will save tonnes of the carbon emissions which are causing climate change.

"The Green Concierge Service is a great example of London working with the other cities who are part of the C40 group - all of whom are committed to sharing knowledge to tackle climate change. We scoured the world for the best scheme and found it in Toronto, who have helped us develop London’s new service.

Darren Johnson, Green Member of the London Assembly, said: "Londoners want to help save the planet and we want to help them do it. This is a unique consumer service, which I believe will become standard practice across Britain in the next few years.

"We are not only helping people to create energy saving homes, but to access other services which could change their whole lifestyle. It is another example of London leading the way and the Government following."