Relish projects

Worthing Homes have had a number of pilots and projects over the years. You will find out more here.

Phase 1

By following Relish™ principles the phase 1 pilot demonstrated that the equivalent of 4 weeks’ rent can be released for families to spend on other things, as well as making impressive carbon emissions savings. If rolled out across a large portfolio of properties, we believe this could have a profound effect on the social housing sector and beyond.

Lessons learned

Relish™ phase 1 pilot demonstrated that works combined with education clearly delivers the best financial and environmental savings. During the pilot year, the property that received Relish™ works and monthly education advice achieved a significant saving of £368 on their combined annual gas and electricity bill.

The key lessons from phase 1:

  1. Benefits of energy education.
  2. Low cost can still mean high achieving!
  3. Energy modelling isn’t perfect.
  4. Reducing gas consumption through education alone is difficult.
  5. Better energy habits reduce electricity bills.
  6. Carbon emissions can be reduced through education alone.
  7. The Relish™ principles help us make the right decisions.

Relish™ phase 1 has provided an excellent insight into the impact of low-cost low carbon refurbishment works to occupied properties and the effectiveness that education and advice can have on reducing residents energy use. Download our phase 1 report for more information.

Our phase 1 findings are based on results from a small sample size and in phase 2 we are applying all that we’ve learned to a larger scale programme.

 
 

Phase 2

The second phase of Relish™ has been rolled out across 159 occupied homes in tandem with decent home works.

Phase 2 focused on:

  1. applying lessons learned from phase 1;
  2. Relish™ training for surveyors and trades people;
  3. recruiting resident advocates;
  4. developing a personalised, automated feedback system for monthly advice to supplement the home visit support;
  5. applying the Relish™ principles to a different type of building stock and construction.

The main challenge faced during phase 2 was how to develop an effective advice and education programme for a large number of residents. There were limited opportunities to incentivise and support residents on a one to one basis; so we supported poor energy users with opportunities for additional advice so that they could understand the benefits of changing their energy habits.

One of the key Relish™ principles is to ensure that being part of the programme is a fun thing to do easy to understand, with real, tangible benefits for participants. So we worked closely with residents to explore the best ways to involve and engage them in the programme.

Phase 2 was kick started with the launch of the Relish™ show home available as an education centre for all Worthing Homes’ residents. A virtual tour of the show home has also been published online for those residents that have access to the internet. We are continuing to develop our online communications as well as reinforcing good energy habits through special training of the resident liaison team, surveyors, contractors and reactive maintenance team.

Updates on phase 2 have been published throughout the year.

Smartwire

Relish™ smartwire is a master power-down switch for all non-essential devices, an innovation developed in phase 1. Located near the front door, it turns off all non essential devices and lights as you leave the home.

The smartwire innovation has been used in the Relish-it! community hub to show residents the impact of turning off all non essential items. Seeing the energy meter and the smartwire switch side by side as the flat powers down is a profound demonstration of how much energy is wasted.

Currently, it is not cost effective to retrofit smartwire switches, but we have been monitoring the impact of a Relish-it!™ programme, together with smartwire switches across 20 new homes during 2012-2013. Data calculated by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory shows that a power down switch such as smartwire can deliver a saving of £138.14 per annum based on a typical family home. Our findings from the programme will be published in due course.

We expect on-going innovations such as smartwire plus* and the implementation of the household Relish™ rating will achieve further energy reductions for residents and bring us ever closer to the 80% target.