Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Save Your Money ( and Your Life Too

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Save Your Money ( and Your Life Too

Article excerpt

Byline: By Guy Basnett

In the third of a series of articles during Energy Saving Week, Guy Basnett looks at how cutting CO2 emissions can boost your health ( and your bank balance.

Saving energy is not just about helping the planet ( it can put a huge bulge back in your wallet, and may even prolong your life.

Each year thousands of people die across the UK from the cold alone.

Tens of thousands more see their health problems, including asthma, bronchitis, arthritis and heart problems made worse by damp.

But a new campaign to reduce energy waste, and cut climate-changing CO2 emissions, could see these conditions hugely improve.

And it could also save homeowners a tidy sum.

David Connor, director of the Newcastle Warm Zone, is urging people to take advantage of an offer to have their homes insulated, often for free.

The project, which is linked to the CarbonNeutral Newcastle campaign, aims to insulate as many homes in the city as possible before 2008.

Insulating the average home can save one metric tonne of CO2 emissions each year, giving an average annual saving of around pounds 100.

"About 70% of the homes we look at qualify for free. The other 30% will pay somewhere between pounds 29 to, at the most, pounds 99," Mr Connor said.

"That means you will make back any money within a year, and keep on saving."

All the work is guaranteed for 25 years, and is designed to last for decades.

And in a simple process, all it involves is a couple of holes drilled into the walls, before a mineral insulating wool is sprayed into the wall cavity.

"It is literally that quick. The only result might be a bit of dust which we sweep up."

The Warm Zone is a not-for-profit organisation set up 18 months ago through a Government initiative, in partnership with Warm Zones Ltd, Newcastle City Council, Your Homes Newcastle, Scottish Power and National Grid Transco.

As well as insulation, it provides central heating, and advice on energy efficiency and benefits.

And research has shown its benefits are surprisingly far-reaching.

Primary Care Trust figures from between 1996 to 2003 show that an average of 170 people die each year in Newcastle alone from the cold. …

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