Engaging with communities and raising awareness of energy issues and climate change is an essential first step for any initiatives that aim to change behaviour to reduce consumption. This section of the toolkit provides a number of case studies developed throughout the project that aimed to raise awareness of energy issues and/or start a conversation with communities around energy consumption.
Energy Saving Open Homes in Devon, Dorset and Wiltshire
Open eco-homes is based on organising and promoting events where households who have made energy saving, renewable energy and environmental improvements agree to open their homes to visitors, usually on a specific day or over a weekend. ‘Communities Living Sustainably’ in Dorset have produced a video of their experience (each chapter is available individually):
Smart and Eco Homes: a Life Sized Exhibition Space
This one-of-a-kind exhibition area is situated at the Pôle Phoenix in Pleumeur Bodou, Brittany and is designed to raise awareness of the issues of eco-renovation, energy saving and home automation technology among school children and the general public.
Take your community on an energy safari to visit renewable energy and energy efficiency installations in your area. Also view 361 Energy’s video of their safari to Fullabrook wind farm:
Thermal Imaging: The Wiltshire and Dorset Experience
Thermal imaging has been used by communities to carry out household surveys and as a more general tool to raise awareness of energy efficiency more widely.
How to Raise Awareness with Unconventional Tools (Theatre and Porteur de Parole)
Various methods were used to try to engage parts of the community that would otherwise remain un-engaged. One of these involved using theatre, and another (Porteur de Parole) used ‘impact statements’ in public spaces to start a conversation.
Le Porteur de Parole – A Guide on How to Use this Tool
Porteur de Parole, translated into English as ‘Word Carrier’, uses impact statements in public spaces to start a conversation. It’s particularly effective for engaging members of the community who are not reached through standard engagement techniques.