Residents cut bills with council’s warm homes scheme

The council’s Lower Bills, Warmer Homes programme provides free ways to make homes more energy efficient

Tara and West made their Leyton flat warmer with free help from the council (credit: Waltham Forest Council)

Residents across the borough are saving an estimated £200,000 a year by taking advantage of free help to make their homes more energy efficient.

Last year, Waltham Forest Council launched the Lower Bills, Warmer Homes programme to make the borough’s housing both greener and cheaper.

With the help of £500,000 from the North London Waste Authority, the council paid for energy-efficient bulbs, reflective radiator panels and thicker loft insulation for more than 2,000 homes.

Leyton residents Tara and West received radiator panels, a new kitchen faucet and draught-excluders from the scheme, which will knock an estimated £138 a year off their energy bills.

Tara said: “We have found the winter to be much colder than previous years and the rise in energy bills does not help.

“We run cold wash for the laundry and don’t run baths, the hot water we use is for dish washing and two quick showers a day. Even with all these measures in place, our monthly energy bill still comes to around £350. It’s unsustainable and difficult to manage.

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“Ideally [with these measures] our monthly energy costs will go down or at least the energy we do pay for can go further.”

Residents can also borrow a thermal imaging camera from their local library to see where their homes are losing heat. 

The council estimates that, by the time the scheme has been running for five years, it will have cut the borough’s carbon emissions by 1,500 tonnes – the equivalent of 5,000 flights from London to New York.

Deputy leader Clyde Loakes said, “Through lending thermal imaging cameras, retrofitting people’s homes and giving away free energy-efficiency materials, our commitment to helping residents through what has been a tough winter is clear. 

“On the day we launched, we had more than 200 applications to borrow a thermal camera with hundreds more now loaned out.

“It is fantastic to see the real-life impact that this is making for people living in our borough. Not only are residents saving on bills this year but they will make these savings each year going forward – helping them in the long run, particularly during the cost-of-living crisis.”

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