The SAVE (Solent Achieving Value through Efficiency) research project ran in Shirley Warren from January 2017 to December 2018, looking at the best ways to communicate energy reduction and peak shifting messages to local residents. The project was funded by Ofgem through the Low Carbon Network Fund and led by SSEN.
Shirley Warren Working Together (SWWT) emerged as a local community-led group from the work of the project. The group was formally constituted in 2017 and held its first AGM in March 2018.
Looking forward, SWWT will continue to promote energy saving messages, including those started through SAVE, alongside activities to promote wider social benefit. Our longer term commitments include:
- undertaking a Big Switch Off in November 2018 to build on 2017’s successful event;
- continuing to promote the ‘can it wait ‘til after 8’ message and other energy saving messages to encourage people to use less at peak times but through regular ‘touch point’ activities rather than set piece events;
- setting up a slow cooking club where people can learn how to use slow cookers and benefit from both the time, cost and energy savings to be made but would need some additional resource/staff/volunteer time to enable it to happen. If there was an opportunity to tie in with a ‘healthy eating’ type project to access additional help/support that would make it more achievable;
- undertaking regular clean ups to reach further into the community helping to restore pride in Shirley Warren and the way it looks;
- building a new Community Café at the front of the Action Centre and in operation – with an ‘eco’ focus (or similar) to actively embrace energy issues by using energy efficient appliances, looking at environmentally friendly use of disposable (compostable) cups and plates rather than using the dishwasher, possibly having solar panels to generate its own electricity, energy saving messages and information being available to users and so on;
- continuing to use the materials designed for the project, for example, the fridge magnets, information sheets and so on;
- inviting Alan Whitehead (MP for Southampton) to talk to us about wider energy policy issues we are interested in exploring as a result of the project, raising mutual awareness of the impact of energy and environmental policies upon local residents. We will look for a suitable opportunity to do this;
- trying to integrate energy into other community activities and make it something that we do across the board as a matter of course – embedding the learning locally;
- making the most of the links we now have with The Environment Centre in Southampton (tEC), we would like to access energy efficiency support/ tie in with other available projects and with other organisations for broader support as needed;
- engaging with SSEN Customer Relations team staff to look at community resilience planning.