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Energy project up for national award

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A Dudley Council housing project which helps tenants at risk of fuel poverty to manage their energy bills has been shortlisted for a national award.

Since 2019, the council 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 project has been shortlisted in the most inspiring awareness campaign category in the Inspire Awards 2021.

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.

One message sent in May last year about tips on how to reduce fuel bills, received a 94 percent response rate from tenants within 24 hours and they were offered support through the council’s energy advice line.

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

The thermostats bring innovation into people’s homes. They help people think differently about how they use their energy and allow us to communicate with tenants directly on how they can adjust their energy usage and importantly save money on their bills.
I’m pleased the project is already proving successful and I look forward to it being rolled out in other homes.
Being shortlisted for this award demonstrates the quality of what we’re doing with Switchee Ltd and the difference it is making to our tenants.

The Inspire Awards celebrate diversity and inclusion in UK construction, engineering and housing. The winners will be announced on July 8.

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