Funds Approved to Help Put London in the Green

first_imgOver the past two years the U.K. has adopted some relatively progressive policies to improve the energy efficiency of its housing stock and commercial buildings.Wales set strict requirements for energy efficiency, water consumption, and use of sustainable materials. Britain’s Climate Change Act, passed into law in November 2008, requires that, beginning in 2016, new residential construction meet net-zero-energy standards. The British government approved plans for four “eco-towns,” and the UK Green Building Council, a government advisory group, suggested this week that the government seriously consider allowing each of Britain’s 7 million homeowners to borrow up to $17,000 for green retrofits and have the loan amount added to the homeowner’s local tax bill.And now the city of London, which is preparing to play host to the Olympic Games and Paralympics Games in 2012, has taken an additional step to try to offset the inefficiencies of the homes in its 33 boroughs, about 60% of which were built before 1945. Through a $16 million initiative announced last week, the city will provide households with a number of free services, such as changeovers to energy efficient light bulb and light switches. The initiative also will subsidize more-costly, weatherizing improvements – such as the installation of wall and attic insulation – for homeowners able to pay for them, and to make those improvements available for free to low-income homeowners.Another tool for emissions controlThe London Development Agency, which oversees infrastructure maintenance, employment, and business development for the city, developed the plan. It will administer the initiative in collaboration with London’s mayor, Boris Johnson, and other city agencies.One key goal of the plan – among the largest of several designed to help Londoners trim energy usage – is to help reduce London’s carbon emissions by 60% by 2025, a target that is in line with the objectives of Britain’s Climate Change Act.“Climate change is one of the biggest issues facing London’s economy,” the London Development Agency’s chief executive, Sir Peter Rogers, said in a press release announcing the measure. “This new scheme aims to make real cuts in carbon dioxide emissions for a cost-effective rate per ton of saved carbon. We have learned that this is best achieved by targeting particular areas and offering residents easy measures to implement.”last_img read more

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On Unnecessarily Poor Language Choices

first_imgTonight a telemarketer called my Mom’s house. The telemarketer began the call with this: “Can I please speak to the male head of the house?” My Mom hasn’t been married or lived with a male head of household (whatever that is) since 1974. She is a very successful entrepreneur that raised four kids without an ounce of help from anyone (which explains why she is my personal hero).Fortunately, my Mom is super sweet and has a great sense of humor. But other people may not have been so forgiving. That sort of opening language did nothing to help the company that was calling. It did nothing to help establish a positive association with their brand. It did even less to help them gain a customer. It was an unnecessarily poor choice of words. It hasn’t been 1952 for a long, long time.This is an example of why language choices matter. And it’s a good opportunity to reflect on the language choices that you make.QuestionsWhat assumptions are embedded in your language?What beliefs or biases do your language choices reveal?Are some of the words you choose unnecessarily provocative or insulting to some people?Do you ask for the decision-maker? What does that suggest about how you are going to treat the real decision-makers whose consensus you are trying to gain? (as one example)last_img read more

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