Evaluating any project is critical in understanding the impact you’ve made, and how you can increase this impact in the future.
The overarching aims of energy retrofit projects are often the same: improve the fabric of the building, keep the occupant warmer for less money and reduce carbon emissions. At Changeworks we know that a lot of resource and investment goes into delivering these projects, so it’s very important that they deliver what they set out to achieve.
Evaluating your project helps the delivery team to understand: what went well, allowing you to share your good news story with clients, funders and future funders. It also helps you learn where you can improve, an opportunity to fine tune your process to maximise the impact of your project.
Once the project aims have been determined, it’s important to identify what you want to measure and what information you need to collect.
When considering Energy Efficient Scotland: Area Based Schemes (EES:ABS) insulation projects our team measure variables such as indoor temperature, humidity, energy usage, and satisfaction.
We need information which allows us to identify and measure any changes in these variables (both intended and unintended), understand the reasons for these changes, and explore the impacts of changes i.e. people’s perceptions and experiences of change.
To measure change we need data before and after the installation. When evaluating EES:ABS projects our team use a combination of physical monitoring data and participant feedback.
- Quantitative data on changes in properties using temperature and relative humidity monitors and householder fuel bills provide information on energy use and cost of bills.
- Qualitative data on participant experiences collected using surveys and telephone interviews.
Using your findings to maximise impact
Monitoring projects as they progress gives you the opportunity to make informed adjustments which improve your project as you go along. For example, pre-install surveys can be a useful tool for flagging any householder concerns about the installation process, allowing you to address these fears and increase participation.
Throughout the course of the project and on completion, Changeworks presents the findings and learnings stemming from the results to the project team. This is done using a series of data dashboards and engaging graphics. This helps the project team understand the true impact of their work, taking any lessons into future projects, and is a resource they can use to report to funders.
Changeworks have a dedicated team of researchers and analysts who can work with you to identify and deliver your monitoring and evaluation needs. We have a tried and tested evaluation process that has evolved over the last six years. We currently deliver monitoring and evaluation for five Energy Efficiency Scotland: Area Based Schemes, and six projects funded by Scottish Government’s decarbonisation fund.
If you think your organisation could benefit from some support get in touch with Lauren Salmon, Monitoring and Evaluation Manager for a free consultation.