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Hackbridge sustainable suburb taking shape

October 26, 2011 11:26 PM

An innovative scheme which saw Sutton Council help 300 householders cut hundreds of pounds off their electricity bills is set to be rolled out in other areas of the borough.

Residents in the Hackbridge Low Carbon Zone have received a free home energy audit from Climate Energy, including the installation of thousands of small energy saving devices, such as low-energy light bulbs, chimney balloons to reduce draughts, and radiator panels, which combined could shave over £200 off electricity bills. Many householders have also received subsidies for large changes such as loft insulation, replacement boilers and gas central heating.

Now, the scheme is set to be offered to residents living in Worcester Park and Nonsuch wards. An energy expert from Climate Energy will fit small energy saving devices, give householders advice on how to save energy, check to see if properties would benefit from insulation and assess resident's eligibility for grants.

Cllr Colin Hall, Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change on Sutton Council, said: "Energy bills can be a big drain on household budgets, particularly at this time of year. The changes made by Hackbridge residents show that you can make a real difference to your bills by installing small energy saving devices that don't need a big outlay of time or money. There are lots of different grants and subsidies available if you want to make bigger changes, so it's a good idea to look into what you could do to cut bills and reduce carbon emissions."

All Saints Community Centre is the latest community building to see changes, with the installation of solar panels, cavity wall insulation, new lighting and a new boiler. The users of the hall are also doing their bit, and have pledged to cut out unnecessary energy usage. The solar panels are expected save 1.59 tonnes of carbon and provide the Centre with free, green power.

The Hackbridge Low Carbon Zone began after Sutton Council successfully bid for a share of the Mayor of London's £3 million pot to create ten low carbon zones across the capital, and is one of the initiatives being used to transform the area into the greenest neighbourhood in the UK. Five hundred homes and six community buildings were lined up for a "green-over" to save energy and cut carbon emissions in the Zone 20.12% by 2012.

If you live in Worcester Park or Nonsuch and are eligible for the campaign, you will receive a letter in November giving you further details. For more information on the Hackbridge Low Carbon Zone, visit www.sutton.gov.uk/lcz, or for advice on reducing your carbon footprint visit www.oneplanetsutton.org

If you live elsewhere in Sutton, you may still be eligible for a subsidy to make energy saving changes to your home. For advice on measures to reduce energy, and details of grants available, go to www.energysavingstrust.org.uk