Our speaker on Wednesday 24 October was Counsellor Phillip O’Dell who is the Cabinet Member for Environment & Community Safety. His subject was Climate Change. He outlined the main issues concerning emissions and the strategy which the Council has put in place to deal with them. The Carbon Reduction Commitment scheme aims to tackle carbon emissions in the corporate sector where schools account for 55% of the problem. Loans available through the GLA will pay for measures to be put in place with a ten year phased pay back period.
In the community there has been a great investment, more than £2.5 million in the last four years, towards making private sector houses warmer. Most of this has been from government schemes.
These have been replaced this autumn by the Green Deal, whereby the providers install energy saving measures and the householders pay back the loan through their gradually falling energy bills.
Examples of home improvements ranged from cavity wall insulation (and what to do if the walls were actually solid) to solar panels. Phillip said that they were working on incentives to get householders to make the necessary improvements, through education, literature and talks and that overcoming a reluctance by the public to take up the opportunity to improve their emissions needed a great effort.
In thanking Phillip for his talk Di admitted her dislike of energy saving light bulbs but wished him well in winning over the residents of Harrow.