A group of self-confessed ‘eco’ residents in St Helen’s have become the first in the UK to benefit from a home energy makeover, collectively making savings of over £1,000 in their fuel bills. Through the O2 Energy Saver Fund the residents will save enough carbon dioxide (CO2) to fill 17,000 purple ‘wheelie’ refuse bins, significantly reducing the community’s carbon footprint, courtesy of a special project in association with O2 and the Energy Saving Trust. The scheme – funded by O2’s customers, who save energy by choosing to retain or recycle their mobile phones rather than upgrade, has provided funding to eleven households in Ansdell Villas Road to implement a range of energy efficient measures. These include loft and cavity wall insulation and draught proofing. Residents also received free low energy light bulbs and expert advice from their local Energy Doctor at the Energy Saving Trust advice centre in Merseyside. Shaun Woodward, Labour MP for St. Helens South, visited the residents on Friday 11th January to inspect the works (which began at the start of January and have just been completed). He commented: “The Ansdell Villas Road Residents’ commitment to make energy saving changes is inspirational. When I met them last week, I was delighted to learn how committed they are to making their homes energy efficient. Their successful application for funding from the fund demonstrates how local communities can really make a positive difference to help fight climate change. I look forward to supporting the residents as they continue to set an excellent example for other like-minded communities.” Andrew Williams, Chairman of the Ansdell Villas Road Residents’ Association, said: “Four years ago the Ansdell Villas Resident’s Association came together to acquire a piece of land at the end of Andsell Villas which had become a local ‘grot spot’. Now, we have become a very dedicated community group committed to addressing environmental and quality of life issues in the neighbourhood. The O2 Energy Saver Fund has been a great way for us to make our homes warmer and more energy efficient and to help save the planet” Robert McKinnon, spokesman at the Energy Saving Trust, added: “It was great to hear residents’ positive feedback about how the energy makeovers will make a difference to their homes. This joint scheme is leading the way in creating positive change in communities across the UK. We are delighted that the Ansdell Villas Road community is the first to successfully receive funding from the scheme.” The O2 Energy Saver fund was launched in April 2007 to encourage those living in communities most in need to bid for a full energy saving makeover[1]. Successful bidders receive free expert advice from the Energy Saving Trust, and each property benefits from free energy saving solutions upon recommendation. The money raised through the O2 Energy Saver option is being used to help communities turn green by ensuring they use less energy, pollute less, create less waste and have a reduced contribution to climate change. Helen Wright, O2’s Environment Manager said: “The Energy Saver Fund is a new and unique initiative which has been funded by our customers who save energy by choosing to retain or recycle their mobile phones rather than upgrade. The fund is part of the O2 It’s Your Community programme which offers communities, across the UK, the opportunity to make a difference to their lives and the environment by applying for an energy makeover. “We are delighted that this community in Prescot has been successful and we are sure they will benefit from the increased insulation and other energy-saving measures during the remainder of the winter and in many more to come.” ENDS
[1] No more than 10% of each donation will go towards administration and governance costs with at least 90% of each donation going direct to energy saving projects that make a real difference.

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