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Energy awareness at ACH 

Article by:  
Naomi Gill  
Support Worker | ACH Bristol 
Last winter we worked with Bristol City Council, Quartet Community Foundation, Growing Futures and Easton Energy Project to raise awareness about energy among our residents. 
We ran an accredited award in Energy Efficiency for Sustainability, adjusted our properties, and gave advice about how to save energy and reduce bills. At the end of the project we celebrated with a bike ride and BBQ where we had a presentation and discussion about energy and sustainability. Our residents were positive about what they learnt throughout the project and made pledges to save energy through lifestyle changes. 
This winter we have been working with Easton Energy Group to encourage awareness of energy use in the properties, and to adapt properties to make warm and comfortable homes, without the need to have the heating on full. Nigel from Easton Energy Group has brought a lot of enthusiasm and expertise as an energy adviser. 
We’ve been using draught excluders, secondary glazing film, and thermostats to improve efficiency in the houses. We’ve provided clothes driers as an alternative to hanging clothes on the radiators which can cause dampness and make the radiators inefficient. We’ve made suggestions to tenants, for example making larger portions of food and eating together or freezing the leftovers. We’re also asking tenants to check and record the meter readings on a weekly basis. Our plan is to reward the tenants for their participation in the project with a pizza party at the end of the winter! 
With new houses and a steady flow of tenants arriving and moving on into private/council accommodation it’s important that we keep up the conversation about energy. This will help tenants who will be responsible for managing their own energy bills when they move on from ACH. They will be better informed, and this should ensure that they do not fall into debt or energy poverty. 
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