Tap into Savings

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The Tap into Savings programme was launched to help residents in social housing and their neighbours save water, energy and money. During 2010 and 2011, projects were delivered in Merstham and Redhill (Surrey), Coventry (West Midlands) and the Braintree District (Essex).

Over 4,500 home visits were carried out during which free water and energy efficiency devices were fitted and advice provided.

In addition, over 180 individuals participated in EcoTeams, which were small groups of local residents working together to take action in their homes on water, waste and energy.

Evaluation of the programme is currently underway, with reports expected in the spring. Preliminary results follow, and please feel free to Contact Us for more information.

The programme delivered average water savings (based on devices installed) of 40 litres per day per home visited. Survey results, which were statistically significant, reveal an increase in pro-environmental actions taken by residents after home visits as well as increased attention to water use in homes. Nearly 50% of residents who had home visits went on to talk to their friends and family about saving water and energy.

Saving money, helping the environment and simple curiosity were given as reasons for signing up, with residents generally agreeing that it was an easy action: "If you can do your bit without it being difficult then I don't see why you don't do it. We've got recycling bins, easy – chuck your rubbish in there instead of in the other bin – and it was the same with water."

Overall the programme saved more than 57 mega litres of water per year and reduced emissions of climate changing gases by more than 185 tonnes of CO2e annually. It was the first water efficiency programme to build in energy efficiency and recycling, and to place an equal emphasis on installing efficiency devices and influencing pro-environmental attitudes and behaviours.

The Surrey project won a Green Apple award and was shortlisted for a Sustainable Housing Awards award under Community Involvement/Engagement.


Components

Water efficiency home visits

Water wasting fixtures and fittings were replaced or refitted with water wise alternatives, and more information was given about water and how to reduce waste.

EcoTeams

Residents are supported while working together to reduce their impact on the environment and to save money.

A supportive environment

Retrofits and EcoTeams were the two strands of our approach to supporting a community in becoming water wise. We also worked through local groups and media, including door knocking and holding events to raise awareness and engage residents.