Boris Johnson has been accused of re-announcing funding initiatives after City Hall announced the start of trials to reduce carbon emissions from “at least 200,000 London’s homes by 2012.”
Trials will take place in Croydon, Camden, Lewisham, Harrow, Havering, Haringey, Hillingdon, Kingston, and Southwark with homes being offered a range of energy saving initiatives including switching to low energy light bulbs as well as more substantial steps, such as loft and cavity wall insulation.
City Hall says the scheme is eventually expected to cover 1.2 million domestic properties across the whole capital by 2015 “subject to the leverage of additional finances from government and the private sector.”
Mayor Johnson said: “London is crying out for a much more simple, easy to access scheme to help people go green, and these trials will help us create this. The combination of people all taking small steps in their homes, adds up to a massive difference for our efforts to combat climate change.”
However Green Party Assembly Member Darren Johnson said the funding for the scheme “is the same £9.5m he announced in July. While I am thrilled that this is finally getting going, the criticisms I have made in the past still hold.”
“To put the £9.5m in context, Kirkless Council, which is equivalent to a single London borough, invested £10m in 2007 to provide free home insulation for residents. In Kirklees the success of the scheme lay in its simplicity, with insulation provided free of charge to everyone. In contrast, the Mayor’s scheme for London requires the majority of households to pay for insulation, and will involve a process of means testing to determine who can get free insulation. This ignores the lessons learnt and will impact upon the success of this scheme.”
Responding to Johnson’s comments, a spokesperson for the Mayor said: “Far from being a ‘re-announcement’, we revealed this week for the first time which nine boroughs will be undertaking large scale trials for this important environment programme, ahead of a London-wide launch. The success of these borough trials rests on high public awareness through a range of channels, including the media, to encourage wide participation. Residents in around 10,000 homes will be offered a selection of free carbon cutting measures which collectively have the potential to add up to significant carbon savings.”
“The Kirklees scheme is rightly seen as a successful scheme which we have studied in detail ahead of developing a model suitable to meet the challenges we have in providing a service for a city as large and diverse as London. This planning includes the need to attract additional funding from the government and private sector once an effective programme has been trialled successfully.”