Hastoe releases energy study findings to address fuel poverty

09/10/2013
As part of a continued commitment to addressing fuel poverty, Hastoe commissioned a study to look into the energy use of its residents.
The study focused on providing residents with low cost energy efficient devices, measuring the impacts and advising residents about saving energy.

Hastoe places great emphasis on tackling fuel poverty, particularly for residents in rural areas, who are often away from the gas network. This report, by Sustainable Homes, took place during February and March 2013, with the final report issued in July.

A total of 32 Hastoe homes were chosen to receive combinations of: an energy-saving advice leaflet; a home energy monitor (HEM) (giving a real-time display of energy use) and a ‘Switch-off Standby’ device – enabling the user to turn off devices left in standby mode.

Over all, the study highlights that greater interventions are needed to reduce fuel poverty, but that residents are keen to engage with Hastoe to achieve this. Hastoe is looking to tackle fuel poverty through its Green Homes Standard – a minimum standard for energy efficiency and other environmental criteria.

In addition, significant investment is being put into Hastoe properties to address affordable warmth and energy efficiency. In July Hastoe successfully bid for funds from the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) Social Housing Competition
. This is the third round of RHPP funding that Hastoe has received and will enable the installation of a further 75 ground source heat pumps for residents. A total of 165 pumps have been installed through RHPP funding.

KEY SURVEY FINDINGS

·        No statistical evidence was found to show that savings could be made from the low-cost interventions used in the study

·        There were examples of high bills and incidences of under-heating – where residents were turning off their storage heaters to save money

·        The homes with higher occupancy also had higher energy bills. However, there were as many homes with fewer occupants who were spending just as much on energy bills. This means that many residents have the potential to make significant savings

·        Many residents are not aware of the amount of electricity used by some of the appliances they use, nor the true cost of it. The HEMs were able to show some residents the true cost of some of the appliances they were using. One home was using two portable heaters which they had been told would cost them 2p per hour. The monitor demonstrated that in fact they each used 14p of electricity per hour.

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