Get bill smart: A community-partnership approach to supporting low-income households to achieve home energy savings

Phillipa Watson, Michelle Gabriel*, Millie Rooney

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    In this paper, we report on early findings from a low-income energy efficiency programme, get bill smart (GBS). The project trials a community-partnership approach to supporting low-income households to pursue energy savings and comfort improvements in their home. In our discussion, we examine the role of community action in facilitating improvements to the indoor built environment. Here, we reflect on the challenges and opportunities that have arisen in seeking to build community-capacity in a disadvantaged community. We observe that: the project design was effective in facilitating local ownership; its objectives did align with local priorities; and there was some translation of energy saving messages. However, challenges were encountered with facilitating the emergence of leadership and an ongoing community network around affordable warmth and energy use. While a temporary network has emerged through the delivery of GBS, early insights from the project indicate that, on balance, there are more inhibitors rather than facilitators of this outcome within the neighbourhood. Tipping this balance may require further investment and support beyond the project parameters.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)867-877
    Number of pages11
    JournalIndoor and Built Environment
    Volume24
    Issue number7
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2015

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