Energy saving: it’s a social thing

What if energy saving became a public issue that we can talk about with friends and neighbours?

Reducing energy use in our homes is one of the biggest challenges we all face in the UK today.

  • Fuel prices have risen hugely, so many of us are worried about paying the bills.
  • Around 25% of all carbon emissions come from our homes. So reducing energy use is part of avoiding more serious changes in our climate, and more of the storms, flooding and fires we have seen in areas near Manchester.

Yet for some reason our bills and energy consumption is left as a private matter. Could it help us all to share ideas and experience? If that interests you, get in touch below.

When a team at Keele University set up discussion groups in local towns to investigate people’s ideas on energy saving at home, they found people really wanted the discussion groups. They wanted to share and discuss ideas, experience and information on energy saving, to help them understand the options and make decisions.

RECCKN Project, 2013

Those discussions revealed what you may have found yourself – that there is a huge gap between the kind of general information you can get, and the detail we all need to make wise decisions in our homes. That gap is filled only by companies and traders who want to sell their own products. It makes it very difficult to know who to trust, and what to do.

  • The project helped neighbours to meet and connect, to share information and ideas, make sense of the information together, and to share their practical experience of energy saving.
  • It also showed that local organisations could help to make the discussions possible, and to become a kind of independent ‘honest broker’ to help people to review and understand the information available.

Two of us in Moss Side worked with the project, so I am inspired to suggest something similar here. It’s about helping each other to find out what we need to know, share practical information, and build our knowledge. If you are interested, contact me with the form below.

Below is our film about the project, called ‘Energy Saving: it’s a social thing‘. It is based on interviews with local people who took part in the project, and with the team. They explain what made the discussions useful, interesting and enjoyable, and what they did to involve others. If it inspires you too, get in touch.

Video: Energy Saving: it’s a social thing.


Contact me if you are interested in joining a group, or forming a local group, to share experience, make sense of information, and build our practical ideas and knowledge about reducing our energy bills and carbon emissions at home.

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