Life + RENEW project
In partnership with the Energy Saving Trust, Waterwise has recently wrapped up a three-year water and energy advice service in the pilot areas of Cardiff, London and Edinburgh. The initiative is known as the Regional Environmental Networks for Energy and Water (RENEW) project.
Funded by a contribution from the LIFE+ financial instrument of the European Community, Department for Energy and Climate Change and the Scottish Government, these pilots are first of its kind in Europe.
Research tells us that consumer understanding of the impact of water and especially hot water use is low. For example, research commissioned for the pilot has established that only 8% of householders would currently make the link between saving water and saving energy, demonstrating the need to raise awareness in this area.
On average in the UK we are currently using 150 litres of water per person, per day - much of which is wasted. If every UK home reduced their hot water use by just 5%, the CO2 savings would be equivalent to taking nearly 600,000 cars off the roads. When taking into account energy used to heat water there are significant energy, water and financial savings to be made by only using the water we need.
Heating water for use in taps, baths and showers makes up around 30% of average household's gas bills - that's around £200 a year. With six per cent of the UK's annual greenhouse gas emissions related to water use, and nearly 90 per cent of those emissions resulting from water use in the home, you can see it is high time for householders to stop wasting water.
1) To pilot an innovative approach to providing environmental advice and raising consumer awareness.
2) To actively investigate the viability of combining water saving and sustainable energy advice by identifying synergies/conflicts and carbon saving links between energy and water.
3) To analyse geopolitical differences in three pilot areas - Cardiff, Edinburgh and London
4) To influence consumer behaviour to reduce their carbon emissions, preserve natural resources and move towards a water saving culture with a target of 22,500 consumers advised
5) To disseminate the findings of this innovative project by sharing pilot findings with other EU states to replicate pilot elsewhere
In February 2011, the project was presented in Paris at a workshop from the European Energy Network (EnR) on 'Energy Policy Implementation at a Local and Regional Level'. The presentation 'Life+ RENEW project' can be found on their homepage. An overview of the project including relevant messages for EU politicians was published on page 73 of the March 2011of Parliament Magazine.
A stakeholder conference to disseminate the findings was held on the 22nd of September 2011 in Brussels.
The layman's report was presented in Brussels on 22 September. It is available here.
The project was co-ordinated and led by the Energy Saving Trust.
Waterwise was responsible for developing the water component of the advice, as well as identifying the synergies and trade offs between water and energy advice in domestic use and a means to gauge net impacts of both. Waterwise also organised and carried out training workshops in each of the pilot areas.