Changeworks: Energy Confident New Tenants
In light of the energy crisis, Changeworks identified the need for preventative action against fuel poverty and energy debt on a wide scale. With the support of William Grant Foundation funding, Changeworks looked to develop, trial, and test an innovative new service targeted at social housing tenants. The aim of the service would be to empower new tenants to feel more confident about their energy use, which in turn would act as a preventative to potential fuel poverty through early intervention of advice on billing and energy use.
Designing a service with everyone in mind
Our service development team worked in collaboration with housing associations staff and tenants to develop and design this new service. Using service design principles, stakeholders took part in 6 workshops to identify and define problems around energy use for new tenants.
From there the workshop attendees formulated various potential prototypes and models. One of these ideas – a digital information library – was developed and is currently being trialed with tenants and key housing association staff.
Following feedback, we developed the first iteration of what would become the ‘Energy Confident New Tenants’ service, before returning to the group to further refine to meet tenant and staff needs.
Agota Raukyte, Service Development & Improvement Analyst, said “As we all know, moving home can be stressful, and something given to you at the point of move-in can easily get lost or end up in a drawer somewhere.
The challenge for us with this trial has been to develop a model that engages tenants effectively in the weeks after the move-in process has been completed. This means that if setting up energy has been put off, tenants can be reminded of the availability of the service and access the resources when it’s convenient to them, without letting the situation spiral out of control.”
Once the service concept was created the project went to trial in 3 housing associations. New tenants would be provided with materials when they arrived as well as a tenant library of energy advice that could be accessed on demand.
Housing association staff, as the first point of contact for tenants, were responsible for promoting the service as part of the move-in process. Changeworks worked closely with the housing associations throughout the trial to monitor progress and try different approaches to delivery.
Tenants are surveyed about their experience using the service and at the conclusion of the trial the data and finding will be analysed. With the findings from the data, we will inform future iterations of the service and how it can be improved to serve tenants and housing association needs.