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Behavior Change
Collaborative Business Campaign Helps UK Residents Be Energy Aware, Save £300 on Bills

A collaborative business effort, led by UK charity Business in the Community, brought together representatives from business and Government to tackle energy efficiency in the home.

The fortnight campaign, Be Energy Aware, ran in October 2014 encouraging consumers to use less energy in the home, ultimately saving money on their energy bill. Participating companies included Virgin Money, lighting manufacturer Osram, DIY retailer B&Q, Thames Water, and Housing Association AmicusHorizon. The UK Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and industry body Energy Saving Trust also supported the campaign.

The initiative focused on practical things consumers can do to save money on their energy bill. A recent study by B&Q parent company Kingfisher found that European homeowners are more concerned about energy bills than paying rent or a mortgage. But a follow-on study by Business in the Community ahead of the campaign found that consumers do not realise just how much money they can save by amending their daily habits.

For instance 60 percent of people surveyed thought switching to LED light bulbs could save up to £100 annually, whereas it is closer to £300, and 82 percent thought turning a thermostat down by one degree would save £25 a year, but the figure is actually closer to £75.

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Residents in England get involved, save £300 on energy bills

Residents in Westbourne, West Sussex and Beeston, near Nottingham, were involved in the Be Energy Aware campaign thanks to lighting manufacturer Osram. 20 residents across both villages had their homes refitted with LED lights, replacing low-energy incandescent and CFL/halogen bulbs. Osram tracked the amount of energy each home would save, and what this would mean on their annual energy bills. The result? Participants saved £215-343.

Case study participant Julia Munday commented, “We hadn’t had a good experience with energy-saving light bulbs before — they take ages to warm up — so we didn’t have high expectations of the LEDs. We were amazed to find that they light up instantly, the quality of the light is excellent and the cost savings are significant. We will certainly stick with LEDs from now on.”

Colin, one of the Osram LED Community Trial participants commented, “I would recommend others to change to LED lights as they replace old bulbs — they are better in all respects than both old incandescent lights and fluorescent low-energy bulbs. The energy-saving potential is significant and would have a real impact on our energy use with no compromise in their use.”

Thames Water partners with Housing Association AmicusHorizon

More than 150 residents at Landsdowne Green Estate in London have been involved thanks to Thames Water. In a unique partnership between utility provider Thames Water, Housing Association AmicusHorizon and charity Growndwork, residents were offered free water- and energy-saving devices.

The showerheads will help save 30 L of water a day on their own. Thames Water has calculated that once all showerheads are fitted, the residents will collectively save £8,800 on their energy bills (as well as 3.6 million L of water!). In addition, if each household reduced their shower time by just 60 seconds, the combined saving for all households would be £7,500 per year.

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