Tap into Savings

Name

Tap into Savings

Organisation

The project is delivered in partnership with Waterwise, Global Action Plan, Whitefriars Housing Group, Severn Trent Water, Coventry City Council and the Environment Agency.

Summary

Tap into Savings is a major national water and energy saving project launched on 9 July 2010 in Coventry. The project will visit 2,000 homes in Tile Hill, Canley and surrounding areas, helping households save around 15% of their water without spending any money. Collectively that’s 94,000 litres of water a day – enough to supply over 700 people in Coventry with their daily water needs.

In addition, Coventry residents are being invited to come along to EcoTeam meetings to learn how to save even more water, gas and electricity, and how to recycle more.

Residents of Whitefriars Housing Group properties and other properties in the area will be offered a range of free products including a device to convert a single flush toilet into dual flush, a showerhead that mixes water with air, tap inserts and a shower timer.

Residents will also be offered an E.ON TV PowerDown to eliminate standby and a thermometer card that shows when a room is too hot or too cold.

The aims

The aim of the project is to enable greener living by helping residents rely less on natural resources (i.e. water and energy) and enable them to feel confident living greener lifestyles.

The project’s objectives are to achieve significant environmental savings with emphasis on water, and to encourage residents to make pro-environmental behavioural changes, particularly through EcoTeams.

The challenges

The main challenge has been encouraging residents to take up the free offer of a home visit and come along to EcoTeam meetings.

The solutions

To encouraging residents to take part we have used a variety of techniques to raise awareness and increase take-up, such as:

  • tailoring all of our materials for our audience
  • direct mailings
  • telephone and door step recruitment
  • manning stands at local events
  • working through existing community groups
  • outreach at community facilities
  • full time locally based staff member
  • local marketing such as posters
  • regular media coverage
  • using local figureheads to draw attention

 

The results

  • Jim Cunningham MP launched Tap into Savings, calling it ‘a forward thinking initiative that has obvious benefits to our everyday lives’.
  • The project has received core funding from Defra as well as in kind support from E.ON, Indesit, Future Friendly and the Excel Centre.
  • The project is due to finish in March 2011 and evaluation activities are currently underway.

 

Learning points

At this stage they are still evaluating the project and monitoring progress but it has become clear that:

  • Face-to-face contact with residents is much more effective in increasing take-up of their offer, as barriers are more easily broken (e.g. they can easily bust the myth that water meters are required to take part).
  • Word of mouth and peer-to-peer recruitment is quite important. They’ve implemented a Refer-a-Friend Scheme to encourage residents to recruit others into the project.
  • Tacking the delivery of energy efficiency products onto the installation of water efficiency devices is practical and possible.
  • It is important to ensure that resident facing staff are brought into the project and are well briefed.

 

SWM comment

We hope that this project proves to be successful and will be implemented across the West Midlands and beyond.

Contact

For more information you can download the press release on the right-hand side of this page, visit the Tap into Savings website, the Environment Agency website or email Joanne Zygmunt at jzygmunt@waterwise.org.uk.


Downloads

Tap into Savings press release (pdf)