CO2 advice line takes climate fight into homes

A free advice line has been set up to help the public reduce their carbon footprint, save water and reduce waste.

Environment Secretary Hilary Benn launched the Act on CO2 Advice Line as part of a package of measures to take the climate change fight into homes and living rooms.

The Energy Saving Trust, which will operate the service, will be given more than £100m over the next three years to deliver a broader programme for green homes.

This will include a network of one-stop advice centres to be opened around the country over the next 12 months.

Other initiatives announced by Mr Benn include green makeovers for up to 100 neighbourhoods, and the introduction of the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) scheme to encourage energy companies to help customers switch to low-carbon.

Announcing the measures as part of this year's Lord Mayor's Lecture, Mr Benn said UK residents did not need to be "brilliant scientists" or wait for "the discovery of miracle technology" to act.

"If we do this together, as a community, and tell each other about what we're doing, and support each other, then transforming our country together will be a lot easier than if we pretend we're doing this alone," he said.

"We need to move from 'I will if you will' to 'I have, now you can'."

Friends of the Earth said it supported the initiative but criticised the level of funding and the lack of a comprehensive carbon reduction programme for the housing sector.

Low carbon homes campaigner Dave Timms said: "The new advice service launched today is a good initiative, but it can't gloss over the failure of the Government's unambitious and underfunded policies aimed at greening our homes."

He called on Government to introduce a fully-funded strategy to eliminate fuel poverty and slash emissions from UK homes by 80%.

People can call the Act On CO2 Advice Line on 0800 512 012 or visit the Energy Saving Trust website here.

Kate Martin



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