This workshop worked well in Oldham as it allowed people to talk about their own homes. The main things to be aware of are helping the group to “zoom out” to the neighbourhood level – to understand the connections between low energy performance and fuel poverty – and making the session hands-on and interactive. It is helpful to have an expert in energy efficiency who can simply communicate ideas about retrofit and energy at this workshop.
“For me, the [energy] house workshop was really enjoyable, especially with all the ideas to insulate your own home, seeing insulation ‘in action’ was really educating and getting to try the technology was a different way of learning.”Sholver group member
- workshop tool: energy efficiency in the home including an example workshop outline, additional learning resources and good practice case studies
- example content including example resources used during the delivery of Oldham Energy Futures
- read about the energy efficiency in the home workshops in Westwood and Sholver here.
This workshop is about building knowledge within the group around energy in the home. It is specifically concerned with building knowledge and understanding of energy efficiency and helping the group to think beyond their own homes to what good or poor energy efficiency means for other people in their neighbourhood. As with the transport workshop, it should also enable the group to understand what mechanisms they could use to address problems around energy efficiency in their neighbourhood.
Who should be there?
- the neighbourhood group
- one workshop leader with expertise in energy in the home, for example an energy agency with community engagement expertise (see below for suggested organisations)
- nice to have: an expert witness from a community-led project delivering energy advice or energy efficiency services.
Organisations with relevant subject expertise
For suggestions of locally-based practitioners:
- Community Energy South
- Centre for Sustainable Energy
- Carbon Coop
- Communities for Renewables
- what are key energy efficiency measures that can be done to save carbon emissions?
- what are the other benefits which come from these measures?
- what is good or bad from an energy efficiency point of view in your neighbourhood?
- what are the changes we want to explore together?
- how could those changes happen?
- an understanding of the importance of energy efficiency in energy transition
- an understanding of what energy inefficient housing means for people living in it
- the ability to apply this knowledge to their own home and think about what changes they could make individually
- an understanding of how energy efficiency works can deliver jobs for the local area
- an understanding of the wider context for energy efficiency in their neighbourhood
- an awareness of the mechanisms that could be used to improve energy efficiency in the neighbourhood.
- an understanding of the landscape of energy efficiency in the neighbourhood
- a consciousness of the changes needed to improve energy efficiency
- an awareness of examples where energy efficiency measures are being delivered by businesses which have ownership structures which can benefit the local economy.
It is important to have someone at this workshop who is knowledgeable about retrofit and energy efficiency so that they can answer questions people have about their own homes. This was a role that Carbon Co-op fulfilled at the Oldham Energy Futures workshop on energy in the home but could also be done by organisations such as the Centre for Sustainable Energy or Cumbria Action for Sustainability.
It is important to move the group from thinking about their own homes to thinking about the neighbourhood level. Using EPCs to do this was very successful during Oldham Energy Futures (see workshop guide: energy efficiency in the home for more information about how to use EPCs in this workshop).
It is also important to consider the different types of housing tenure participants have, as asks and recommendations across tenures will mean engaging with different stakeholders. For example, if there is a blanket ask for the retrofit of domestic properties, it may be necessary to engage with housing associations, private landlords and other local housing providers.
Oldham Energy Futures example
Many people in the Westwood neighbourhood were interested in discussing the energy efficiency of their homes in this workshop. Fortunately, few participants struggled with fuel poverty and many were able to talk about how they kept their homes warm. To enable the group to “zoom out” to understand the impact of poor energy efficiency on the wider neighbourhood, a persona was used to prompt a discussion about what it might be like to live in an energy inefficient home.
This persona prompted further discussion within the group, who went on to identify private rented housing as a key tenure that should be addressed when planning energy efficiency improvements in the area.