AS part of Wealden’s campaign for a carbon-neutral District, the council would like to hear how Covid-19 changed people’s lifestyles since restrictions were introduced last year.

“The response to Covid-19 created a period of significant lifestyle change,” said Councillor Roy Galley, Cabinet member with responsibility for Wealden’s Zero Carbon policy.

“Many people have been working, shopping and interacting in new ways. Some of the changes are good for the environment. Others, such as avoiding public transport, are less desirable in the long term.

“We are asking people to take part in a short online survey to find out more about these changes in behaviour.

“Transport is by far the biggest contributor to greenhouse gases in Wealden, accounting for 47% of all our COemissions.

“If people’s intentions are to continue to do more ‘virtually’ (like work from home) than they used to do and to travel less, it will help us in our plans towards a more sustainable future. However the desire to go back to how we did things before may also be strong. The results of our survey will help us identify measures to encourage low-carbon habits to be maintained for the long-term.”

You can take part in Wealden’s climate change and lifestyles questionnaire here.  It closes on 29 March.

Reducing heating costs

As we spend more time at home, people may also have noticed higher domestic heating costs and thought about taking action to save money.

The extension of the Government’s Green Homes Grant Scheme until 31 March 2022, allows more time to consider making home improvements that could save on heating costs. All homeowners and landlords, regardless of income, can apply for vouchers worth up to £5,000 to cover two thirds of the cost of improving insulation and the introduction of low carbon heating. Any money left over can go towards other measures such as the cost of double-glazing and draft exclusion. Residents in receipt of benefits may be eligible for £10,000, covering 100% of the costs of works. Visit the Simple Energy Advice website or call 0800 444202 for more information and to see what measures you could install.

Wealden is already making good progress in delivering its climate emergency plans to become a net-zero carbon District by 2050, if not sooner. Planning approvals for solar farms and wind farms mean that we are already generating enough renewable electricity to power around a third of the District’s houses. The Council is also currently investigating options on providing a network of electric vehicle charge points in our car parks. This will be crucial to reducing carbon emissions from private motor vehicles in the District.

To find out more, visit the Climate Emergency pages of the Wealden website.