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Energy project shortlisted for national award

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An innovative Dudley Council housing project which helps tenants manage their energy bills via a smart thermostat has been shortlisted for a national award for excellence in tenant communication.

Since 2019, the council’s winter warmth team has been working with Switchee Ltd to provide smart thermostats in tenants’ homes to help reduce energy consumption and the cost of their bills.

The team has now been shortlisted for the 2021 Tpas Excellence in Tenant Communication Award.

Six hundred thermostats have already been fitted in people’s homes across the borough and a further 4,400 are due to be installed.

Evidence suggests that tenants are already saving up to 15 percent on their bills.

The technology also allows the council to assess a property and whether it is likely to have problems with condensation or damp, which the council can then look to address through measures such as insulation.

It also allows the council to communicate with tenants via messages, which has proved particularly useful during the pandemic as a safe way to contact tenants about their energy usage.

The project was also shortlisted for an Inspire Awards earlier this year. The Inspire awards celebrate diversity and inclusion in UK construction, engineering and housing.

Councillor Laura Taylor-Childs, cabinet member for housing and community services, said:

I’m delighted that once again this project has been shortlisted for a national award, this time in recognition of its excellent communication with tenants.
This project has really changed the way we do things, all for the benefit of tenants. It means we can communicate with them directly to help them think differently about how they use their energy and importantly save money on their bills.
I look forward to seeing this being rolled out to other tenants’ homes in the near future.

The Tpas awards recognise and reward engagement excellence and best practice in the housing sector.   

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