‘Lights, camera, action!’ took on a new meaning when specially trained ‘energy champions’ helped nearly 200 Surrey residents spot where energy was leaking from their homes and take steps to save money.
Thanks to funding from UK Power Networks, the Leaky Homes project, run by Zero Carbon Guildford and Energy Action Redhill & Reigate, was able to buy several infrared cameras and train 36 Surrey residents to carry out home energy surveys during the cost of living crisis.
The thermal imaging cameras revealed where residents could make significant energy efficiency improvements. They were then sent a written report with helpful recommendations and vital signposting to the financial support they needed to make their homes more energy efficient.
Nearly 200 residents in Guildford, Reigate, Banstead and Mole Valley were able to see where they were losing energy from their homes, and it proved to be a great way of engaging them in taking action. Thanks to the cameras, for the first time, they could see how ‘money’ leaked out of their homes. Residents were provided with remedial measures to stop draughts in their homes, including chimney pillows, draught excluders and sealant guns, all handed out at schools, warm hubs and community events across Surrey.
Ben McCallan from Zero Carbon Guildford, says, ”We were thrilled to receive the funding from UK Power Networks that allowed our volunteers to get trained up and start conducting valuable energy audits, especially given the struggle so many of us were facing with bills with winter energy costs after the price cap rise.
“Not only were we able to give helpful advice to fellow residents, we helped people gain new skills and built a collaborative project across Surrey with our partners at Energy Action Redhill & Reigate, who delivered half the surveys. Most of all, this funding enabled us to gain the skills needed to be successful in another funding bid, which will significantly escalate energy assessments right across Surrey this winter.”
Ben adds that the project was so successful that they now plan to boost it in September by purchasing more cameras and training community groups in all Surrey’s districts and boroughs. The new programme will also include a summer component, so that they can deliver energy advice all year round.