Now that’s a wrap!
What’s being wrapped up?
Our work at SOS-UK aims to encourage, educate and support students to create and work towards change! And as we currently navigate the cost of living crisis, we know students are left vulnerable due to a) living in poor quality housing, b) lack of experience with the energy market c) low incomes. We decided to enact change through energy literacy. We supported students by equipping them with the knowledge and skills to make informed decisions about properties they rent and how to reduce their energy costs(without decreasing their overall comfort level), and we actively helped to alleviate fuel poverty. This was done in collaboration with National Energy Action and funded by the Energy Industry Voluntary Redress Scheme.
Just like that!
Our Homes Fit for Study project has ended, and it was so amazing to have worked with students across the UK to address a challenging part of the housing & energy crises! We set out to ensure that students are made more aware of housing quality, energy poverty, and how to ensure they live sustainably. Homes Fit for Study was delivered in partnership with National Energy Action (NEA)with a focus on helping students reduce their exposure to energy poverty. In this second year, we have seen students’ awareness and action grow so much with lots of enthusiasm and drive to make more change through action, rising above adversity and collaborating for change.
Over the past two years, we have worked with 178 students across the UK. Provided training to them to become home energy auditors, and they have gone on to conduct 592 student home energy audits, saving approximately £51,466 on bills overall. We also shared information via stalls on campus, workshops and webinars, and by creating accessible guides.
In the details.
We could describe to you in detail what we did, but we decided to share the students' words instead! Through the mouth of babes, they say!:
What was the best part of the project?
“Being able to explain about energy to my fellow students was interesting, and explaining some of the benefits of the questions they went through as well as thought to us. I gave them good insights into how they can manage and utilise the use of their electricity and gas.”
What skills did you develop?
“The best thing about being a student energy auditor was the opportunity to have a direct impact on the environment by helping to reduce energy consumption and emissions. It was rewarding to be part of the solution to environmental issues and to learn more about energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.”
What were the benefits of taking part?
“Auditors must continue to learn and garner more knowledge and experiences as they engage the respondents.”
Where can you see these skills being used?
“I get to advise my friends about home energy saving and apply what I have learned. In addition, I can help raise awareness of the impact of emissions on our life.”
What’s something you'll take away from Homes Fit for Study?
“Learning about the different systems in the UK. I have never really considered the various amounts of heating options, so it was interesting learning about the different systems. I am moving soon as well, so it was a great learning experience for me to know what to look out for in future apartments!”
What a success!
Do you think we achieved the goal of improving energy literacy, because with think we achieved that and way more!
As a result of the audits, 91% now know how to find out if future accommodation is energy efficient or not, and 86% understand more about their options for energy suppliers, billing and tariffs. Auditors also reported that through taking part in the project, they improved their leadership, time management, and communication skills.
We are hoping to build on this work by exploring other funding opportunities to deliver projects around energy poverty.
For more information on energy-saving advice in private rented accommodation, check out our website to sign up for our newsletter and see our advice guides, webinars and masterclasses. Signup for our mailing list here: https://forms/sos-uk-sustainable-accommodation