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Innovative scheme to help Haringey residents make their homes eco-friendly

Norman Beddington and Charlotte Thompson showed off how they have made energy savings in their home. Norman Beddington and Charlotte Thompson showed off how they have made energy savings in their home.

Saturday, August 2, 2014
7:00 AM

For most of us rain is simply an inconvenience, but one couple can’t get enough of it – because they use it to flush their lavatory.

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"We are so happy with all of the work we have had done and would really encourage people to get an assessment and see what improvements can be made"

Norman Beddington

This is just one way in which Norman Beddington and Charlotte Thompson have managed to shave money off their household bills and cut their carbon emissions by more than 60 per cent.

The couple, of Barrington Road, Hornsey, have spent the past five years investing in a number of innovative energy-saving measures, such as solar panels and insulating the walls of their property.

Ms Thompson describes the additions to their home as a “no-brainer” and said they particularly reap the benefits in the winter when their Edwardian property – like many others in the area – proves difficult to heat.

“Over the years you can save thousands,” she explained.

“You may not get it all back in the first year because it’s a long-term prospect but a worthwhile one.

“The costs are frightening in the first place but you will save money.”

Now other residents can follow in this carbon-cutting couple’s footsteps – and it might not even cost a penny.

Haringey Council is rolling out a £6.5million scheme to allow residents to apply for grants of up to £6,000 to make major green upgrades to their homes.

The Smart Homes project is the first of its kind in the country and will also provide people with access to advice from renewable energy experts, something that Mr Beddington said he would have benefited from.

He said: “I really wish this scheme had been around when we did the works on our house – not just the grants, but also having the support of an adviser who could have helped put all of the works in perspective and help us see how it fitted in with the other things we wanted to do with the house.

“We are so happy with all of the work we have had done and would really encourage people to get an assessment and see what improvements can be made.”

Haringey is one of six London boroughs that have been selected to benefit from the 12-month scheme, which is being funded by the Green Deal Communities Fund.

It will focus on Victorian and Edwardian terraces where simple, cheap energy upgrades can be difficult because of the architecture of the buildings.

It is hoped that as residents will be able to get assessments, finance and work done by one firm, it should be relatively hassle-free.

Cllr Joe Goldberg, cabinet member for sustainability, said the council is committed to helping residents cut the cost of living.

He added: “We’re determined that Haringey should be at the forefront of green industry, helping local businesses flourish and creating long-term jobs for our residents in a sector that will continue to grow.”

+ For more information and to apply for an assessment call 020 7527 4736.

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