Home / Local news / Tower Hamlets leads from the front on sustainability

Tower Hamlets leads from the front on sustainability

A council scheme to offer boiler replacements to low income households in Tower Hamlets has been named as the best in the capital.

The popular initiative was awarded Best Small Scale Project at the 2019 Greater London Energy Efficiency Awards.

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets said: “This scheme supports our residents to lower their energy costs, reduce carbon emissions and help keep their homes warm while also helping to alleviate fuel poverty.

“I’m proud that we are leading from the front on sustainability and that these projects, which make a real difference to families most in need of our support, are being given the recognition they deserve.”

The council was also nominated for Best Local Authority for its Tower Hamlets Energy Scheme that offers free energy efficiency visits, boiler upgrades, insulation for school buildings as well as grants for small businesses to reduce their carbon footprint.

The work on sustainability is part of a wider package of programmes aimed at protecting the environment, improving air quality and tackling climate change.

Earlier this year, Tower Hamlets was one of the first local authorities to declare a climate emergency. This was followed by a commitment to work towards becoming a carbon neutral council by 2025.

On 1 July, those efforts continued as the council marked London Climate Action Week by welcoming residents and community groups to Whitechapel to discuss the challenges involved in environmental protection.

Groups from across east London gathered to discuss projects aimed at cutting carbon emissions, improving air quality and becoming more energy efficient.

Councillor Rachel Blake, Cabinet Member for Planning, Air Quality and Tackling Poverty said: “We’ve only got a limited time to tackle this climate emergency. We’re well on track to meet our commitment to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 60 per cent by 2020 and are working towards being a carbon free council by 2025 but we know there’s a lot more to do.

“It was great to bring residents and campaign groups together to share ideas and discuss how we can tackle air pollution, fuel poverty and energy inefficiency together. This is not a battle we can win on our own and I’m always inspired by the network of determined and passionate people we have in our borough.”

During the event, representatives of groups from Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Newham presented examples of community projects to tackle fuel poverty and improve the environment using carbon offset funds.

One example is Bromley-by-Bow Community Centre, which has received one of 30 grants from the London Community Energy Fund to install solar panels to reduce carbon emissions from the charity’s buildings.

The council is looking to use its carbon offset funding to support projects including tree planting, bio-solar energy generation and collective energy switching advice.