London Mayor’s £34m low-carbon programme targets energy-efficient workplaces

Sadiq Khan has pledged new funding for fuel-poor homes alongside a £10bn commercial boiler scrappage scheme in a suite of new measures aimed at delivering cleaner, affordable energy across the capital.

As part of the £34m Energy for Londoners programme, businesses will be offered grants to replace old, polluting boilers with cleaner models and heating systems. This builds on the Mayor’s existing £4.2m RE:FIT programme which supports London’s public sector building managers to reduce energy demand and carbon emissions.

A new £2.4m fuel poverty package will give some of the most vulnerable households free home energy improvements such as boilers, heating controls and insultation worth up to £4,000.

An estimated 335,000 London households live in fuel poverty. Homeowners eligible for the new benefits, such as older people and Londoners with disabilities, could save on average £255 annually, according to City Hall.

Khan said: “It’s a sad fact that for many Londoners keeping their homes warm during the cold winter months is a luxury they simply cannot afford. My Energy for Londoners scheme aims to help those most in need with grants for new boilers, windows and home insulation to help cut fuel bills.

“I’m also working on a number of ambitious projects to generate more local clean energy to power our homes, businesses and communities.”

Decentralised city

Alongside the new funding for fuel-poor homes, the Mayor will tender for the delivery of an energy supply company for London, aiming to offer fairer energy bills to Londoners. This will sit next to a new Energy Leap pilot scheme which will refurb 10 homes installing insulating, solar panels, heat pumps and other measures from this summer.

The Mayor will also help public and private bodies to build large-scale heat networks, using local sources like waste heat from the Tube, though a £3.5m decentralised energy enabling project.

Meanwhile, City Hall is the first public body to secure a junior electricity licence. The body will buy locally generated energy to power two Transport for London (TfL) depots – Northfields in Ealing and Northumberland Park in Haringey.

TfL is set to expand its install solar panels and energy efficiency measures across a variety of TfL-owned buildings including bus stations and office buildings in a new £4.5m refurb project.

Capital concerns

Earlier this week, it was revealed that air pollution in London has reached the legal limit for the whole of 2018 less than a month into the year.

The date of this year’s reaching of the limit, at Brixton Road in Lambeth, is actually a significant improvement on previous years: for the last decade air pollution has reached illegal levels no later than six days into the year.

The improvement is partly the result of action taken by the Mayor, who introduced cleaner buses on routes through pollution blackspots and charges to deter dirty vehicles from central London.

Khan plans to have London buses meet the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) standard by 2020. Buses will soon transport people around the capital using a fuel partly derived from waste coffee grounds, after Royal Dutch Shell and Bio-bean agreed a deal with TfL.

George Ogleby

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