Muswell Hill in Haringey, London, has won up to £500,000 in a competition to become a blueprint for sustainable living. Muswell Hill is one of the first ten winning locations to benefit from a £10million fund as part of the Low Carbon Communities Challenge.Around a quarter of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions come from heating, lighting and powering electrical appliances in homes. By 2050 this needs to be almost zero if the UK is to cut its emissions by 80%, highlighting the importance of local action.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) launched the competition in July to find communities keen to be at the forefront of moving to a low carbon economy.
Muswell Hill will receive a grant to pay for solar panels to be installed at four schools to generate green electricity. The money will also fund a mobile sustainable learning unit, cycle parking and a community renewable energy company to manage the income from low carbon energy generation. This money will then be ploughed back into the community so all 1,800 residents can benefit from a low carbon lifestyle.
Energy and Climate Change Minister Joan Ruddock said: “We’ve had more than 300 communities register their interest with the Low Carbon Communities Challenge, so there’s a real appetite out there to save energy to help tackle global warming and save money on fuel bills. The ten winning projects will now spend the money on things like community wind turbines, solar panels, heat pumps, insulation or green transport projects to cut emissions. The UK has the most ambitious emissions reduction commitments in the world and communities like Muswell Hill will help to develop the policies we need in the future to make the successful transition to a low carbon economy.”
Haringey Council leader, Cllr Claire Kober, said: “We are committed to cutting carbon emissions in Haringey and are working with businesses and residents to explore what practical measures can be put in place to help us do this. This award will enable us to develop sustainable energy sources in the borough for the benefit of the community and will further help us reach our ambitious CO2 reductions’ targets.”
In return for technical and financial assistance, people in Muswell Hill will work alongside government and contribute to finding low carbon solutions from which the whole country will benefit. Successful outcomes from the project will pave the way for a national roll-out of proven measures.
DECC is now looking for an additional twelve communities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to take part in the next phase of the Challenge.