The programme, RE:NEW, is key to the mayor’s plan to ‘retrofit’ London and marks the capital’s largest energy scheme to make more homes in specific areas energy efficient.

It also follows a successful trial which saw an average of £154 savings across 9,000 homes in nine boroughs and a reduction of nearly 3,500 tons of CO2 – equivalent to around 3,000 cars.

Mr Johnson, said: “Cutting energy waste at a time of rising costs makes good economic sense and it benefits the environment by reducing CO2.

“I am determined to make buildings more efficient on an unprecedented scale to create jobs in a low carbon economy.

“This will save millions off fuel bills and fundamentally improve quality of life for Londoners. RE:NEW is simple, safe and free to access, you’d be crazy not to go for it.”

As part of the programme, which will take place between now and May 2012, 55,000 households in parts of Barking and Dagenham, Hackney, Lewisham and Waltham Forest will be first to benefit from a free energy efficiency makeover.

Following assessment, homes will be fitted with a range of energy-reducing devices such as low energy light bulbs, radiator panels and stand-by switches, alongside water saving measures.

In addition, where suitable, more substantial measures such as loft and cavity wall insulation will be offered on a subsidised basis for those able to pay, and free for those on qualifying benefits helping to tackle fuel poverty.

Homes will be checked for eligibility for national funding from sources such as the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) and Warm Front.

London Councils Transport and Environment Committee, chair and councillor Catherine West, said: “These next steps mean that as well as making their homes more environmentally friendly, a number of the capital’s poorest families will be less likely to suffer from fuel poverty next winter. As fuel prices continue to rise, this is more important than ever.”

The programme aims to attract funding to expand the programme to 200,000 homes by the end of 2012 and 1.2 million homes by 2015.

It is expected that this funding will be principally secured through the government’s ‘Green Deal’.

The mayor is also working with the Olympic Delivery Authority, which is providing more than £1M of funding to extend the RE:NEW scheme to additional homes and retrofit up to 12 schools, through his RE:FIT programme in four of the Olympic host boroughs.

Carys Matthews

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