The team behind Bristol’s EU-funded research project, REPLICATE, scooped the community engagement award for their work in engaging local communities and getting households to try energy-saving appliances such as smart washing machines and tumble dryers.
REPLICATE’s Smart Homes project has recently installed internet connected appliances like smart tumble dryers, dishwashers and washing machines to 152 homes in the areas of Ashley, Easton and Lawrence Hill in Bristol. The project focuses on saving households’ energy and money, and reducing fuel poverty and carbon emissions in the city.
As well as helping households to fully utilise the benefits of the smart appliances, the project will also provide data to Bristol’s two universities who will evaluate how energy is used in the homes and how it could be saved in the future.
Councillor Craig Cheney, Deputy Mayor of Bristol, said: “It’s great that the hard work of the Smart Homes team and project partners from across the city has been recognised. It’s exciting that for the first time we can look at how households could save money on their electrical usage by using energy at times when demand is low. We also hope that this project will help to develop a model for how other cities in the UK and Europe can engage individuals and their communities with smart energy and technology.”
The Smart Homes team were commended for demonstrating engagement and working with a wide range of groups from across the local communities. To encourage individuals to get involved with the project, Bristol City Council worked with Bristol Energy Network to enlist community champions. The champions had the opportunity to trial the smart appliances themselves before offering advice and help to others who were keen to make their homes more energy efficient.
Bristol Energy Network also led engagement activities out in the local communities with organisations such as Knowle West Media Centre and Warm Up Bristol. A ‘Mobile Future Home’ was created to pop-up at community events and spaces, as a fun and meaningful way to involve individuals and families in smart energy topics.
Picture, left to right, Annedeloris Chacon (Bristol Black Carers), Dave Tudgey (Bristol Energy Network), Matt Jones (Bristol City Council), Zoe Banks Gross (Knowle West Media Centre), Robert Redshaw (Warm Up Bristol).