Small measures that make a big difference
The Sustainable Living group of the Highgate Society is used to spreading the word about ‘Character, Comfort and Low Carbon’, but this Winter the shocking energy price rises suddenly shone a spotlight on households that can no longer afford for any heat to escape or any cold to come in. There has been much talk of bills for ‘typical’ three bedroom (poorly insulated) houses but rarely explaining the difference between the bills of homeowners who have invested in ‘eco-measures’ and insulation versus the bills of people stuck in cold, leaky homes – often unable to make improvements where landlords refuse to take effective action.
Worst off are those with ‘pre-payment meters’, with higher prices for energy and the constant worry of disconnection.
The Sustainable Living Group took advantage of belonging to Community Energy London (CEL) and has been awarded a grant from a CEL crowdfunder, from the Worshipful Company of Fuellers and from Camden Council’s Cost of Living fund to distribute small items that will ‘Keep Heat In and Cold Out’ around Highgate. So far the group has talked at 3 lunch clubs in ‘warm spaces’ and handed out LED light bulbs, film for single glazed windows, reflectors to go behind radiators on outside walls and door brushes. There have been lively discussions and ‘show and tell’ tables demonstrating other low cost items such as a ‘chimney balloon’, a letterbox brush and information about loft insulation. There has also been further information about ‘big measures’ for home owners with pointers to get further help for those struggling.
The lunch talks have proved very popular, with diners enthusiastically taking away items and being inspired to spread information.
Sustainable Living is now able to work with the Highgate Newtown Community Centre to reach more Highgate people in greatest need, and the exercise is proving a good model for Community Energy London to work on expanding its Community Energy Winter Support scheme across London.
If UK people can be helped to do whatever they can to reduce energy waste from homes, big measures for home owners and small measures for all, we could stop being dependent on energy providers from abroad – and be warm in our homes.
Further Information: Energy Advice London https://energyadvice.london/ has been set up to provide a wealth of information for Londoners about reducing energy use and energy bills. It has links for advice in your area and a calculator to see where you can save energy. Explore the web site or ring 0808 196 8260.
31 January 2023