Knowsley Housing Trust’s Save Energy, Save Money project, which has helped hundreds of people cut their household bills, has picked up a prestigious award.
It has been named Energy Saving Project of the Year in the Sustainable Housing Awards, which celebrate the best examples of sustainable working across the country.
Save Energy, Save Money provides home energy audits to help people identify where they can reduce their energy use through behavioural changes or improvements to the fabric of their homes.
The project also includes EcoTeams – a series of community workshops to advise households on how they can reduce their impact on the environment on topics such as grow-your-own, recycling, energy, water, travel, and creative cooking.
Around 80 households took part last year, each typically saving £170 and one tonne of CO2 annually. EcoTeams was also delivered to six different schools across Knowsley to over 150 children saving an estimated one tonne of carbon emissions.
KHT’s Investment Manager for Green InitiativesAnthony Jarvis, who has spearheaded the project, said: “We are very proud to have received this recognition in such important awards.
“This shows that with innovative thinking, commitment and hard work you can achieve big results. We know times are tough for our tenants and by providing some simple ways to reduce energy use we can help make a big difference to their bills and help them stay warmer in their homes.”
The project, delivered by KHT’s Investment and Social Responsibility teams, has been running since 2009 to create affordable warmth across Knowsley and reduce KHT’s carbon footprint.
It is designed to allow tenants and the wider community to access services and get handy tips on how to save energy and moneyeither at home, within the community, online or over the phone. KHT has even produced on-line energy saving videos.
Over the past 12 months Save Energy, Save Money has delivered total savings of over £815,000 and 176 tonnes of CO2 across Knowsley.
KHT has completed more than 1,000 home energy audits over the past year, advising on behavioural usage, water meters, warm homes discount applications, referrals for free insulation to lofts and cavity walls and the latest sustainable technologies such as rainwater harvesting or Ecopod heating systems.
Anthony said: “Save Energy, Save Money has made a significant difference to energy bills and carbon emissions over the past few years and we believe this work will become even more important as welfare reform comes into force next year, putting even more pressure on household finances.”
Save Energy, Save Money has also teamed up with Money Angels to make sure void properties are set up on the best value energy tariff to suit the new occupants when it is re-let and Billscutter to provide an impartial energy tariff check or swapping service.
The project has also been delivered with support from the Housing Association Charitable Trust (HACT), Global Action Plan, E-on and the Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority.
The Sustainable Housing Awards 2012 are organised by Inside Housing magazine and its sister publication Sustainable Housing.