Lewisham Council will lead 12 south London borough’s in a new energy efficiency project to help tackle fuel poverty from September.

The authority will head the South London Energy Efficiency Project, a consortium of 12 London boroughs and community groups, funded by the Greater London Authority (GLA).

It will give advice on reducing energy bills and fuel poverty, Cllr Jonathan Slater said in a Twitter post.

An estimated 10.2 per cent – or 12,054 – of Lewisham households live in fuel poverty.

This means thousands are living without heating, hot water and are unable to cook a meal, an issue which specialists have described as a public health issue which adds extra pressure on the NHS.

Cllr Slater told the Environment Journal: “I’m proud that Lewisham will be the lead for the 12 South London Borough Energy Efficiency Project, launching this autumn, where together we will be supporting residents across South London with key advice and referral service support on reducing their energy bills and fuel poverty.”

The authority was one of four boroughs allocated £250,000 of grant funding from the Mayor of London to offer advice and refer fuel-poor households to support services from 2017.

It led a partnership five south east London boroughs as well as community groups.

The scheme helped 875 residents last year, council documents explain.

Now the scheme has now been rolled out to cover every London borough.

The Mayor of London earmarked more than £10m up to 2021 for new programmes to drive carbon reduction and to tackle fuel poverty across the capital.