How might energy efficiency be accessible, desirable and affordable for all?
The UK is committed to reducing carbon emissions by 20% by 2010. 30% of the UK’s carbon emissions can be accounted for through domestic energy use. Additionally, the rising cost of fuel is putting a huge strain on low-income households whose bills can amount to over 10% of their income. Reducing domestic energy use reduces energy costs and carbon emissions but our insights gained through a 12 month Dott ’07 project in Northumberland showed that households in former mining town Ashington found energy efficiency an abstract concept that is hard to engage in. Moreover most households have higher financial priorities than paying for energy saving measures such as insulation.
Our solution is Saverbox; a home improvement energy saving loan that is paid for through the savings households then make on their energy bills reducing energy use, lowering emissions and leaving households better off. A loan of £258 costing £16.50 a month will enable the average household to save up to £510 a year.
This service is supported by information displayed on the home TV enabling people see their real time energy usage and how their behaviour effects their consumption, encouraging them to use less.
We upgraded a typical terraced house with affordable energy saving measures reducing its energy bills by 40%, an average £400 a year. Our project shows that a further 20% reduction in energy use can be made through the behavioural changes inspired by the information displayed on the TV screen. The success of the project means funding has been secured to develop the services for energy social enterprise WarmZones. During 2008 Saverbox loans will be provided in Northumberland as a pilot project with national ambitions.
Jan 2007 – ongoing
You can download the Dott 07 Manual here.
Visit the Dott 07 website.
Dott 07, One NE, Design Council, National Energy Action, NaREC, Wansbeck District Council, East Ashington Development Trust, Northumberland County Council, WarmZones, Energy Saving Trust