One million London homes left out on the cold, Greens warn

MORE than one million households may be left in the cold as they miss out on the Mayor of London’s flagship home insulation programme, just as energy prices rocket, the Green Party has claimed.

The bulk of the funding for the targeted 1.2 million homes by 2015 was due to come from the London Development Agency (LDA) but will be cut as part of the coalition’s ‘bonfire of the quangos’.

The Greens say that unless the Boris Johnson can convince the Government or the boroughs to step in to plug the �7.15m gap left by the LDA’s disappearance, only a tiny proportion of the promised improvements will be made.

With energy bill rises of seven to nine per cent announced by British Gas and Scottish and Southern Energy recently, there are fears that more families will be pushed into fuel poverty. Those who have taken advantage of the scheme are saving on average �173 a year, enough to offset the average �100 increase on bills last year.

Darren Johnson, Green Party London Assembly Member, said: “The Mayor failed to get the money out of local councils, broke a promise to lobby them for more, and was caught completely by surprise when the Government axed his slice of the budget. But he still boasted in press releases about the million Londoners who were to benefit.”

The scheme was launched as the Mayors flagship climate change programme last year after two years of development and testing.