The Building Conversations project focused around helping those residents in the PACT area that are considered vulnerable to fuel poverty and then improving their situation.
A critical feature of fuel poverty is that those most in need are generally least accessible in terms of any of the usual forms of engagement. Using word of mouth or ‘conversations’ as the key mechanism to reach out to community members the project was able to trial innovative engagement approaches using off licences and betting offices as well as more traditional settings such as health centres to target hard to reach groups.
This approach was supplemented by a range of engagement projects to get local people thinking about how to reduce energy consumption and costs, including
- Working with the local youth club, using thermal imaging technology to identify areas of heat loss in buildings and using the images to create an art installation
- Working with residents in new build properties to increase awareness of how to maximise the energy efficieny potential of their properties
- Training on how to sew simple items to keep warm in homes
- Open House events to showcase the features of a sustainable home to local people.