Sheltered housing, nursing homes and other managed residential schemes raise complex challenges for energy efficiency measures. In the first instance, the buildings (or series of buildings) often occupy a significant space. Secondly, the residents may have health or mobility problems that lead them to be inside more than the average person, be less active and require more heat. Lastly, there may be many individual actors – staff, residents and visitors – with different priorities and levels of motivation and with roles that generate very varied patterns of energy use.
Much existing energy efficiency guidance is directed at properties with one household only. There is therefore a gap for guidance that focuses on supported housing. The Abbeyfield Society provides residential care and other support packages for older people
Key research Question
The aim was to design a toolkit that would assist staff, residents and volunteers in Abbeyfield properties to identify areas where greater energy efficiency could be achieved and guidance provided on how to implement appropriate measures.
Summary of activity
The toolkit was produced by Neighbourhood Energy Action and the Abbeyfield Society but does not specify how the content was developed. It presents a structured programme of activity: 1) who should be involved; 2) where to start; 3) establishing a policy; and 4) what measures should be taken. Each section includes a series of aims, objectives and targets with non-prescriptive guidelines on how to proceed, which are summarised at the end of the respective segment. For example, ‘Where to Start’ recommends obtaining an energy rating survey for the property as a baseline and describes the different models available. A list of grants for energy efficiency improvements and useful contacts existing at the time is included.