Benn launches Green homes push

The government has launched a new advice line aimed to improve the public’s awareness of their homes environmental impact.

A new advice line has been launched by the government today which aims to improve the public’s awareness of how to make homes greener.

The Act on CO2 line will give free, impartial and tailored advice from the Energy Saving Trust on how individuals can reduce their carbon footprint.

Environment secretary Hillary Benn said the line would help to take the fight against climate change into people’s homes.

“If we are to stop climate change’s worst consequences, changes need to be made in people’s kitchens, living rooms and communities, as much as in industry boardrooms, parliamentary debating chambers or around the international negotiating table,” he said.

Callers to the line can get advice on how to save water and reduce waste as well as information on grants and offers available from energy companies.

Mr Benn also announced the Green Neighbourhoods initiative, which aims to create up to 100 neighbourhoods across England that will reduce their carbon footprints by over 60 per cent.

Communities and councils can bid for funding to help transform the environmental performance of a street or local area.

The announcements follow the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (Cert) scheme, which came into effect yesterday and doubles previous obligations on energy companies to help people make their homes more energy efficient and reduce household emissions.

“Individuals are responsible for almost half of emissions, so people have to start taking action in their own lives if we are to meet the challenge of climate change,” Mr Benn said.

“But there is a lot of information out there and the government recognises that it can be hard to know where to start. These initiatives will help address that.”

Energy Saving Trust chief executive Philip Sellwood added: “With a network of advice centres across the UK, we will be able to offer millions of people free and impartial advice on environmental matters such as energy efficiency, renewable technologies and greener transport.

“Our research shows people want comprehensive advice on all the different ways they can green their homes.”