A group of 20 eco-minded residents in Redcar have all received free energy makeovers and collectively saved £2,300 off their fuel bills while reducing their carbon emissions, thereby helping to reduce the community’s carbon footprint.
Through a combination of energy saving home improvement measures, courtesy of the O2 Energy Saver Fund, a special project in partnership between O2 and the Energy Saving Trust, residents of Redcar and Cleveland will save enough carbon dioxide (CO2) to fill the South Gare Lighthouse around 50 times (19 tonnes of CO2 a year) which is enough energy saved to heat water for 3 million cups of tea!
The scheme – funded by O2’s customers, who save energy by choosing to recycle or retain their mobile phones rather than upgrade, has provided funding to 20 homes in Redcar to implement a range of energy efficient measures. These include cavity wall insulation, topping up their loft insulation and draught proofing. Residents also received free low energy light bulbs and expert advice from the Energy Doctor from the North East Energy Saving Trust advice centre.
Vera Baird, MP visited the residents to inspect the works. Ms Baird commented: “It’s so impressive that residents are playing their part alongside the government in tackling climate change. I’d like to congratulate them and the energy saving trust for this effort and hope that many more people follow their example.”
June Smith, of Tees And Durham Energy Advice (TADEA) and representative of residents of Redcar and Cleveland said: ‘As residents of Redcar and Cleveland, we feel very fortunate to have been chosen to receive this generous award from O2. We are all really keen to reduce our carbon emissions through insulating as many homes as possible, and as a result reduce our energy bills. We are very pleased that both young families and the elderly are being helped to reduce their energy bills with measures such as loft and cavity wall insulation that were not affordable for many of our residents.’
Robert McKinnon, Programme Manager 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 these residents in Redcar have been successfully awarded funding from the scheme.”
The O2 Energy Saver fund was launched in April 2007 to encourage residents to adopt a community approach to energy saving measures and to bid for a full energy saving makeover. Successful bidders receive free expert advice from the North East Energy Saving Trust advice centre. Each property also benefited from other energy saving solutions. The money raised through the O2 Energy Saver option is being used to help communities ‘go green’ by ensuring they use less energy, pollute less, create less waste and make a positive contribution to preventing climate change.
Helen Wright, O2’s Environment Manager said: “The O2 Energy Saver Fund is a new and unique initiative which has been funded by our customers who save energy by choosing to recycle or retain 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 Redcar has been successful and we are sure they will benefit from the increased insulation and other life-time energy-saving measures.”
 Savings based on the average modelled energy consumptions of UK houses, taking into account the property type and heating fuel of each household and are gross of comfort i.e. assume the heating behaviours of the residents do not change after the insulation is installed.
 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.