Green home advice on tap for Londoners

A service promising to help Londoners make their homes more green was launched from inside a model eco-house in Trafalgar Square on Tuesday.

Mayor Ken Livingstone said the flagship policy, which he hailed as a UK first, would offer a one-stop shop for advice on making homes more carbon efficient.

The London Green Homes programme will include a free telephone advice service, a free website, and the green concierge service which will provide customised green audits of properties and a programme to cut emissions.

The concierge service will cost homeowners £199 a year but Mr Livingstone argued that it would cost up to £3,000 to use a similar service in the private market, and could save the average household £300.

He added: “We know there are a lot of people in London who can afford to do this and don’t want to wait for Government schemes and Government grants.”

More than £4m has been allocated to the service in 2007-08 but the Mayor’s office said the impact on carbon emissions was worth the expenditure and argued that the scheme would help to develop a market for green products and services.

Deputy Mayor Nicky Gavron said: “If urban areas don’t reverse the trend in CO2, we don’t save the planet, full stop.”

London’s homes are responsible for 40% of the capital’s emissions, and the Green Homes service aims to cut 500,000 tonnes of carbon a year by 2010.

At the launch, Mr Livingstone also took the opportunity to attack the green credentials of his Conservative mayoral election opponent Boris Johnson, who he said had long been a climate change denier and was still not at the “cutting edge” of the debate.

He added: “This is probably going to be the first election anywhere in the world where the environment is the major issue.”

The Mayor’s green exhibition house will remain in Trafalgar Square until December 16 before touring the city and taking up residence at the Store Street Building Centre.

The Green Homes website can be found here.

Kate Martin

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