EU Life+ Project: Combining Water and Energy Efficiency. A report by the Energy Saving Trust and Waterwise UK.

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1 : Combining Water and Energy Efficiency A report by the Energy Saving Trust and Waterwise UK.

2 Combining Water and Energy Effi ciency Water in the home External to household Overview The EU Life+ RENEW project promoted the water-energy links and benefits to consumers in the UK. It tested the effectiveness of different communication and marketing approaches on water efficiency, to improve consumer awareness and encourage behaviour change. The project explored the feasibility and success of integrating water efficiency messaging into the communication methods commonly used by energy efficiency or household engagement initiatives. These methods included; Phone calls (inbound and outbound calls) Direct mailing Events (shopping centres, festivals) Home visits The key findings include: Water and energy efficiency advice can be successfully integrated for customer engagement. Only 8 per cent of consumers were aware that their water use contributes to their energy bill. High volume top tip advice through light touch methods (phone and mail) resulted in little to no increase in water saving awareness or behaviour change. Face-to-face in-home initiatives provided a better quality of advice, resulted in increases in water saving acknowledgement and behavioural change. The outputs from the EU LIfe+ project are intended to inform the UK and EU water and energy sectors to improve the delivery and success of demand management and customer engagement programmes. Introduction On average, each person in the UK uses 150 litres of water each day. So, if every UK home reduced their hot water use by just five per cent, the carbon dioxide (CO 2) savings would be the same as taking 1 in 5 cars off the road. Six per cent of all CO 2 emissions in the UK come from water use, with 89 per cent of this coming from water use in the home. 89% As housing across Europe becomes more energy efficient, the impact of hot water on household emissions will become proportionately larger. For this reason, the EU Life+ project was an important first step towards identifying the best ways to engage consumers in water and energy efficiency measures. The project 7.0% Wastewater treatment 2.0% Water treatment 1.6% Water distribution 0.4% Source, abstraction and conveyance 11% Total carbon emissions of 6.2 tco 2e per MI water for water in the home. This equates to 2.2kg CO 2e daily per household. Figure 1: CO2 from water abstraction, treatment, conveyance, use and disposal 1 The EU Life+ project research found that people generally don t make the link between their hot water use and energy, or the impact this has on their energy bills. Nor do they fully appreciate the multiple benefits that can be gained through simple water efficiency improvements. The aim of this project was to show the link between water and energy to consumers, and promote the benefits of adopting water and energy-efficient behaviour. At the same time we were able to test the effectiveness of different communication and marketing approaches. In the UK, approximately 30 per cent of an average home s energy bills can be attributed to heating and using hot water or around 200 ( 220) per year. This water use contributes on average to around a quarter of household carbon emissions. This presents a significant opportunity to reduce carbon emissions and energy bills, as well as to save water. Consumers in the UK have never benefited from a national or joined up education programme on water and energy efficiency, so many people have a poor understanding of the impact of water use. I don t see how it can be a problem in this country it rains all the time 2 1 Clarke A, Grant N, Thornton J Quantifying the energy and carbon effects of water saving full technical report, Element Solutions, London, august 2009

3 Combining Water and Energy Effi ciency Project aims: Raise consumer awareness in this new area reach a minimum of 22,500 consumers Pilot innovative approaches to provide water and energy advice Investigate the viability of combining water and sustainable energy advice Influence consumer behaviour to reduce their carbon emissions and preserve resources Move towards a national water saving culture Analyse the differences in three areas London, Cardiff and Edinburgh The project s aims align with the EU s (20:20:20) objectives on climate change, adaptation and mitigation, sustainable consumption and production, and water scarcity and drought. They also support the 6th European Environment Plan s strategic objectives including ensuring sustainable water use over the long-term, achieving good status of bodies of water and tackling water scarcity by helping the emergence of a water saving culture. according to their experience and expertise of their local areas, whilst marketing messages and materials were developed centrally. A programme of formal advisor training for those involved in advising on water efficiency was developed and delivered by Waterwise, along with an e-learning tool developed to provide online advice and training to advisors on a flexible and on-going basis. Monthly telephone conferences between the three advice centres and the project organisers were used as a forum for any issues to be raised, good practice to be shared and measurement of targets Marketing approach Market research into the impact of different messages indicated that the financial saving messages would have the biggest impact. Therefore, our key proposition became: Heating water costs you money and was used in all three pilot areas. Although there were differences between the three pilot areas, such as the fact that there is no separate water bill in Scotland (rather they are charged for water use via council taxes), this was still found to be the most effective marketing strapline. Each pilot area used the same marketing materials, but each chose different ways to communicate to suit local requirements and opportunities. Project methodology communication approach to effect change Operational approach The project ran from January 2009-December It was conducted in London, Edinburgh and Cardiff, to test the effect of various communication approaches in different urban centres within the UK. Over 25,000 people received water efficiency advice during the project in these areas. Surveys of people receiving the advice were used to evaluate the impact of the message and method of delivery. The Energy Saving Trust used its existing advice centres which were already delivering energy efficiency advice and customer engagement programmes. Centres were set targets to deliver the advice to both existing and new customers in Cardiff, Edinburgh and London. Each advice centre was allocated targets and budget which was divided between advisor time and the delivery of marketing activities. The centres developed marketing plans This message was communicated using the following methods: Audience segmentation For local marketing activity, we developed simple water segmentation by postcode. This helped us target those consumers most likely to take action from direct mail and event invitations. 3

4 EU Life+ Project Combining Water and Energy Efficiency Water Energy Check The shower simulator A water energy check (WEC) household survey was created and after completing the questionnaire, people were sent a tailored water advice report. The WEC was used both in direct mail and at events, and in partnership with local authorities and water companies. A shower simulator was built for each urban centre. These devices demonstrated physical water savings and enabled people to feel the difference between normal and water saving shower heads. The simulators were used at outreach events to maximise engagement with consumers and to show the quantities of water they could save. Quote from Edinburgh: Met a return customer at one of the shopping centres who had implemented the advice in the WEC report and believed as a result they were saving money on their fuel bills Consumer brochure A simple brochure was designed to engage customers during events and via direct mail. This contained information on why we should save water and energy and included the project s top tips on how to save water and energy in the home. Figure 2: The shower simulator on display at an event in London. Water saving devices A range of simple water saving devices were supplied to people as part of the project s engagement and education efforts. These included water efficient shower heads and shower timers, and were handed out at events to explain the water and energy benefits from saving water in the home. 4

5 Combining Water and Energy Efficiency We ve been grabbing people they don t come up, generally. We establish first whether they re on a meter, then look at energy savings. It s the finances first, but underneath they re quite keen to save water. Cardiff Advisor Consumer website Simple and informative web content was used throughout the project s duration, hosted on the Energy Saving Trust s website. Key information pages included interactive tools such as a water cycle, water saving top tips and a video with details of water efficient products. It also included The Great British Water Fight (GBWF) which was a viral video campaign aimed at engaging younger audiences about water and energy consumption and trialling the effectiveness of social media as a channel to reach consumers. Following the campaign s launch, 8,143 website visits and 842 pledges to save water were achieved between July 2010 and August If every visitor carried out their website pledges, the following savings would be achieved over the course of a year: y2,000,000 litres of water y220,000 kwh of energy y65t of C0 2 URL: Evaluation of engagement methods Using a variety of communication approaches provided an understanding of the effectiveness different methods can have in aiding recall and changing attitudes. The table below sets out each approach used including the respective benefits and drawbacks: Approach Description Benefits Drawbacks Telephone calls Mail Events Home visits Inbound and outbound Direct mail to residents Employee engagement, shopping centres, garden shows, etc In-house tailored advice Personal contact, high quantity Local partnerships, high quantity Personal contact, local partnerships Personal contact, high quality, devices installed Low impact advice, time constraints Low impact advice, no personal contact Low impact advice, not targeted, time constraints Higher costs Direct mail was more effective in Scotland through partnership working with local authorities and housing associations, whilst this approach did not work at all in London. Working with employees was recognised as a successful approach in London, whilst targeting flats with tailored water/energy saving advice was an innovative way of reaching people who were unable to make energy saving improvements in Cardiff. Each advice centre adapted their marketing and communication activities according to local issues and partnership opportunities. A range of top tips were developed to immediately tackle the basic lack of understanding of the links between water and energy as demonstrated by the initial research. These approaches were used in the consumer brochure and the consumer website. Evaluating the project An initial baseline survey established that across the three areas, only 8 per cent of people made the link between their water use and their energy bills, unprompted. Using this baseline, the project s evaluation was undertaken in four waves, each measuring the effectiveness of the advice against the baseline. It also investigated the recall of advice given and any water efficiency action taken, whether behaviour change or water device installation. ywaves 1-3 analysed the phone calls, mailings and events that were predominantly used as engagement methods during this period. ywave 4 tested the more intensive method of in-home visits, some of which explored a combined behaviour change and device installation approach. Evaluation methodology Quantitative survey - a telephone survey of people who had received water advice from the Energy Saving Trust. Advisor Interviews - depth interviews, both face-to-face and telephone, with advisors from each of the three advice centres. Customer tele-depths - follow up telephone interviews with recipients of the water advice and who had already taken part in the survey, the aim being to understand in more depth some of the issues emerging from the telephone survey. Partner tele-depths telephone depth interviews with organisations that have been partnering with the Energy Saving Trust to help promote the water-energy saving message. Other site visits that included attending employee events and shopping centre exhibitions in each of the three advice centre areas. 5

6 Combining Water and Energy Effi ciency Recall and awareness Consumer awareness levels for water - energy efficiency links and benefits doubled to 16 per cent, from the baseline of 8 per cent. The greatest increases were due to better quality of initial advice given (Wave 1) and the in-home visit with the resident (Wave 4). This can be seen below: I didn t know how much water and energy I could save if I had four minute showers Save natural resources % Respondents Reduce bills Reduce waste water and pollution Save energy - associated with heating water 10 0 Baseline Wave 1 Wave 2 Wave 3 Wave 4 Figure 3: The reasons people gave for why it is important to save water (Note: respondents could give more than one answer so the total does not add up to 100 per cent) Wave 1 and Wave 4 had the highest impact on raising awareness of the water-energy link. In each of these waves the awareness of the water-energy message went up to 16 per cent. Waves 2 and 3 had relatively little or no impact on awareness of the water-energy message. This may be due to the fact that in Wave 1 advisors had only recently been trained so the information was very fresh for advisors used to only giving energy advice. Another factor was pressure on advisors during the wave 2 and 3 period to fulfil a government directive that meant they had much less time to dedicate to water advice, and in some cases a high staff turnover. Wave 4 was solely in-home tailored visits, which clearly had a greater influence on people s understanding of the relationship between water and domestic energy. This activity involved face-to-face discussions with consumers and focused on tailored advice. Outcomes: behaviours and actions As well as establishing what influence the water advice had on people s behaviours and actions, the survey also sought to determine what water saving actions people had taken without specifically relating it to any advice. The survey collected unprompted responses to avoid social bias. The survey asked respondents about the behaviours and actions they take to save water. The top behaviours that were most influenced following water saving advice were: Taking shorter showers Taking showers instead of baths Turning taps off when brushing teeth Only filling the kettle with sufficient water needed Not leaving taps on when washing up Washing up in a bowl Results indicate that the approach of home visits used in Wave 4 caused a higher level of behavioural change. It also indicates that the highest behavioural change measures are simple, cheap and easy to do (without any preparation or financial investment). Behaviour Base 2 waves 1-3 Wave 1-3 Base 2 wave 4 Wave 4 Washing up in a bowl n=354 13% n=35 43% Taking showers instead of baths n= % n=38 21% Turning taps off when brushing teeth n=563 15% n=113 20% Only filling the kettle with sufficient water needed n=687 14% n=124 19% Not leaving taps on when washing up n=373 12% n=92 18% Figure 4: Influence of Advice Centre in causing behavioural change. 6 2 Base those people who had changed their behaviour. For example, out of 354 people who had washed up in a bowl in waves 1 to 3,13 per cent said that the advice played some part in influencing people to behave this way.

7 Combining Water and Energy Effi ciency Impact It is estimated that nearly 18,000 water saving measures have been achieved as a result of this project. These are a combination of both water saving device and behavioural measures. Overall, the estimated impact of this project for all 25,000 people advised through the pilots on an on-going annual basis is: 523 tonnes of CO 2 from homes per year 176,000 cubic metres of water from homes per year 34,000 on fuel bills for householders 101,000 on water bills for householders (not including those in Scotland) Recommendations From the project s key findings and lessons learnt from the people delivering it, there are a number of project specific and wider water and energy sector recommendations. To increase the levels of water and energy saving awareness, and to increase long-term behavioural change, the project s recommendations are: Go beyond communicating top-tips when developing messages and advice Focus on in-depth advice, rather than quantity of contacts made Deliver personalised advice, designed to suit your audience Focus on delivering in-home advice, rather than through phone calls, mail and events Use a partnership approach and integrate with other on-ground programmes Integrate in-depth advice and behavioural change efforts with combined water and energy efficiency device installation initiatives. Further information on the Life+ Water Pilot can be obtained by contacting the Energy Saving Trust Energy Saving Trust, 21 Dartmouth Street London, SW1H 9BP, UK Key Project Findings: Before the activity began, the understanding that saving water can also help to save energy was very low. When unprompted, an average of just 8 per cent of consumers surveyed across London, Edinburgh and Cardiff were aware of the link. This demonstrated the need to educate consumers at a very basic level. Consumer awareness levels for water and energy efficiency links doubled to 16 per cent, from the very low baseline figure, by the end of the project. The general appreciation that it is important to save water was high at 78 per cent. This improved to 93 per cent over the course to the project, due to the regular water saving advice given to the householder. Evaluation showed the awareness of the importance of saving water seemed to be predominantly for conservation reasons rather than due to energy concerns throughout the project. The highest levels of behavioural change were achieved when focus was on the simple types of behaviour or commonly used devices (e.g. turning taps off, shorter showers, washing in a bowl). However, it was clear that the way these messages were delivered greatly influenced the awareness and the success of any behavioural change. Delivering top tips style advice through light touch methods (phone and mail) seemed to result in little increase in water saving awareness or behaviour change. The more intensive face-to-face in-home approaches provided a better quality of advice, and resulted in increases in recall of advice given and actual behavioural change. These visits used tailored householder-specific advice, rather than top-tips. Our evidence also highlights greater support for these methods when combined with the installation of water saving measures, such as aerated taps and water efficient shower heads. Householders will not necessarily make the distinction between hot and cold water so it is important to provide a range of general water saving advice and highlight those that will also save energy. Real benefit can be achieved for the customer when combining water with general energy efficiency advice in an integrated customer engagement approach. This is also a more cost effective delivery method. Initial research showed financial savings would be a more motivating message than conservation. However, we had to simplify the more complicated water/energy messages in our marketing, meaning savings were not always necessarily as large or easy to achieve compared to big energy saving measures, such as loft insulation. 7

8 waterwise Prepared by: Energy Saving Trust Energy Saving Trust August 2011 Printed on 9 lives 80 silk, produced with 10% packaging waste, 10% best white waste, 60% de-inked waste fibre and 20% virgin TCF fibre sourced from sustainable forests. Energy Saving Trust 21 Dartmouth Street London, SW1H 9BP Tel Fax Delivered by the Energy Saving Trust and Waterwise UK. This project is supported by the European Union as part of the Information and Communication strand of the Life+ Programme, the European fund for the environment. Funded by EU Life+, Scottish Government, UK Department of Energy and Climate Change.

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