TIHR and EEVS have completed the evaluation of the housing association L&Q’s energy saving scheme EnergySave.
The EnergySave programme was create by L&Q, one of the UK’s largest housing associations, to help their residents reduce the cost of energy bills. The scheme was particularly targeted at areas with high levels of deprivation to mitigate the risk of fuel poverty. The scheme involved residents being visited by an ‘Energy Expert’ who provided information, energy saving equipment and collected information about the resident and their property. Residents were also encouraged to submit meter readings on an on-going basis in order to receive personalised analysis of their energy use and on-going advice. The programme started in mid-2012 and in the period up to early 2014 conducted around 20,000 home visits with residents in over 22 boroughs, making it one of the largest, non-government led schemes of its sort in the country.
The evaluation was undertaken together by EEVS and the Tavistock Institute using complementary methods and approaches to look at the evaluation both in terms of the measurable reduction in energy use (through meter readings) and behaviour change of residents (using participant surveys and interviews). The process of delivery was also evaluated through interviews with stakeholders and Energy Experts.
Overall, EnergySave was found to have been well received and popular with many residents, and had encouraged many residents to make changes to their behaviour consistent with energy savings and therefore financial savings. The evaluation also found that EnergySave was reaching many of the most vulnerable residents and those most at risk of fuel poverty and represented comparable value for money with equivalent programmes. Through the analysis of electricity and gas meter readings the evaluation found significant evidence that, following introduction to the programme, the energy usage of residents generally improved.
The evaluation identified a number of possible improvements to the scheme. These included: Tailoring advice to the type of property and household composition of each home, making better links with the L&Q team responsible for physical renewal of properties to deal with more serious issues; greater flexibility permitted to Energy Experts in properties where potential savings are greatest and greater attention paid during the visits to helping residents with energy tariffs.
For more information on this article please contact: TIHR Researcher / Consultant