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Draft busters get to work in Brixton

Dozens of homes in Brixton are to get vital draught busting advice to help them drive down their energy bills, thanks to a new initiative set up by two local residents.

Supported by Lambeth Council and the Mayor of London, the Transition Town Brixton’s Community Draught Busters scheme is seeing energy saving experts visit people’s homes to install special radiator panels, energy monitors and low energy light bulbs.

They are also passing on to residents simple tips about how to reduce their carbon use, helping them save money on bills.

It is being led by Brixton residents Martin Abraham, Sibylle Mansour and Clifford Christopher.

Martin said: “Many people don’t realise that there are a lot of simple steps they can take to significantly lower the cost of their energy bills. We’d both had an interest in energy saving and draft proofing for some time and after speaking to Lambeth Council we realised we could continue the good work already started by the Green Doctors scheme.

“There are lots of things we can help people with, whether it be draft proofing windows and doors, installing water saving devices that fit to the end of your shower, or providing energy use monitors that show how much energy their home appliances use. A lot of people are quite shocked when they see how much their energy use spikes when they boil a full kettle or turn their microwave on.”

The Transition Town Brixton volunteers were inspired by the Brixton ‘Green Doctors’ scheme, which saw more than 150 Brixton homes get free energy saving measures installed last year.

Cllr Lorna Campbell, Cabinet member for Environment and Sustainability on the council, said: “With fuel bills rising and people’s incomes being squeezed it’s vital we do what we can to help households cut their energy costs.

“I’m really pleased that by working with Martin, Sibylle and Transition Town Brixton we have been able to launch a project that means lower bills for residents and less energy waste. This is good news for local people and good news for the environment.”

Community Draught Busters has been funded with a grant of £7,000 from the Brixton Low Carbon Zone, a joint scheme between Lambeth Council and the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, which aims to reduce carbon emissions in the area by 20.12% by 2012.

Transition Town Brixton recently secured a Lambeth ward purse grant of £2,000 and a Social Enterprise Startup grant of £5,000 from the council for the project. The aim is to turn the Draftbusting scheme into a permanent social enterprise offering energy saving expertise to private homes and businesses.

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