We worked in collaboration with the Future Wolverton community group to drive forward the engagement and involvement of the community.
Key aspects of the engagement activity and the energy efficiency outreach programme included:
- Leafleting. Leaflets were produced specifically for Wolverton residents to inform them about Green Deal, free doorstep surveys and the free Green Deal assessments on offer.
- Doorstep surveys. Almost 200 doorstep home energy efficiency surveys were carried out, mainly by Wolverton community volunteers. All residents who had a survey then received a home energy efficiency report.
- Green Deal assessments. As part of a wider Pioneer Places project with Milton Keynes Council, 200 free Green Deal assessments were available to all Milton Keynes residents. These free assessments were actively promoted to Wolverton residents through the community group.
- A community event. An energy show was organised. It showcased local installers and the Green Deal, and included a report clinic for the doorstep surveys. The event was jointly organised and promoted by us and the Future Wolverton community group.
- A control area. Neighbouring Stony Stratford was chosen as the control area as it was similar to Wolverton in terms of its housing (ie mostly solid wall properties). The control area only received general marketing information via the local press.
We provided the following services:
- Community engagement.
- Research and data analysis.
Key community engagement insights from the project:
Working with the community
The involvement of the community produced many positive results. For example, they showed dedication to move the project forward in their area and they were able to influence their friends and neighbours, which encouraged participation in the project. However, there were also disadvantages to using community volunteers - for example, in cases where they perhaps didn’t fully agree with the Green Deal on a personal level and were therefore not as keen to recommend it to people they knew. Also, as the community volunteers were unpaid when carrying out the survey work, it was sometimes difficult to get them to work to the sort of timescale that might be expected of paid volunteers.
To measure the impact that the community's involvement had on Green Deal awareness/uptake, we compared the number of free Green Deal assessments in both the control area (Stony Stratford) and the treatment area (Wolverton). In total, 20% of all the Green Deal assessments available in Milton Keynes took place in Wolverton, which was the highest figure anywhere in Milton Keynes. By contrast, the figure for Stony Stratford was only 5%.