Research shows a pilot to engage people with energy efficiency advice to keep their homes warm and reduce their heating and electricity costs demonstrates positive results. The new approach was project managed by Changeworks1 and delivered by Home Energy Scotland in South East Scotland (HES)2 in partnership with Craigmillar Medical Group. Research to establish the impact of the pilot was carried out by Changeworks.
The innovative approach aimed to reach new householders who had not previously received support from HES. A HES energy advisor was based in Craigmillar Medical Centre for four weeks to directly engage with those in most need.
Jill Fenton, Home Energy Scotland advice centre manager said, “We are keen to look at new ways of reaching people to provide energy advice. Our good working relationship with NHS enabled this trial to happen quickly and with encouraging results. Research findings show simple changes to behaviour can have positive impacts on peoples’ lives. For example, adjusting thermostats can make homes warmer and reduce energy bills. We’ll use learnings gained from this pilot to increase the number of effective ways we can reach our existing customers and reach out to those who will benefit from our service.”
To understand the impact of the pilot Changeworks carried out research, funded by the City of Edinburgh Council, which is now available online3.
Key findings from the research:
- Over 1,200 medical centre patients were contacted by Home Energy Scotland during the pilot
- Of these, 74% were new clients for since the South East advice centre opened in 2008
- 656 clients received energy advice, follow-up advice and some were referred to other organisations for further advice
- Common topics of householder interest included switching suppliers, pre-payment meters and reducing condensation.
- Changeworks is one of Scotland’s largest environmental charities, working with organisations, communities and individuals to deliver practical solutions that reduce carbon emissions, fuel poverty and waste
- Funded by the Scottish Government, Changeworks’ delivers Home Energy Scotland advice centres in South East Scotland and Highlands and Islands on behalf of Energy Saving Trust.
- Research report Health and Housing Strategy: Craigmillar Energy Advice, funded by the City of Edinburgh Council, is available on Changeworks website