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Government's Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey visits Hackney to launch community energy movement to bring down bills

PUBLISHED: 16:32 01 February 2014 | UPDATED: 18:39 01 February 2014

Greg Barker with Emily Jewell (Gwk London Project Manager) and Marc McKenna (MHDT Project Manager). Photo Lucy Millson-Watkins

Greg Barker with Emily Jewell (Gwk London Project Manager) and Marc McKenna (MHDT Project Manager). Photo Lucy Millson-Watkins

Lucy Millson-Watkins

Ed Davey, the government's Energy and Climate Change Secretary, launched the government's new community energy strategy in Woodberry Down last week, which aims to tackle energy giants and bring down bills.

The minister joined residents at the Manor House PACT (Prepare, Adapt, Connect, Thrive) sustainability project, and found out how they are supported by Green Doctors from the environmental regeneration charity Groundwork.

The Green Doctors, many of whom are local volunteers, are trained to visit people’s homes to offer them energy saving tips, support installing basic energy saving measures like low energy light bulbs, draught proofing and radiator panels, and guidance on switching energy providers to find the cheapest tariff.

Local residents have reported quarterly savings of up to £50.

The government’s community energy strategy sets out plans to broaden support for community energy projects like PACT, and will help people come together to reduce energy use or purchase and generate their own energy.

Ed Davey said: “We’re at the turning point in developing true community energy.

“The cost of energy is now a major consideration for household budgets, and I want to encourage groups of people across the country to participate in a community energy movement and take real control of their energy bills.

“Community-led action, such as collective switching, gives people the power to bring down bills and encourage competition within the energy market.”

The £1million PACT project is run by The Manor House Development Trust in partnership with Groundwork as part of the Big Lottery Fund’s Communities Living Sustainably programme.

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