Key messages

We worked with our tenant and communication groups to develop key messages which should run through all your communications with residents about energy efficiency improvements.

Audience-shaped communications

When you communicate with people who are having work done on their homes, the messaging needs to focus on their needs and the impact on them.

Traditionally, comms teams focus on communicating key messages from the organisation’s corporate plan. This isn’t the right time for that approach. Including detail about corporate strategy will dilute the audience-focused message and risk making the communications less accessible.

Message to residents Why? How you can use it
We’ll offer you the support you need throughout the energy efficiency upgrade. Our research found the biggest barrier to people having energy efficiency work done was worry about disruption. Behaviour change theory highlights that if you want people to make a change you need to make it easy for them and remove barriers. You need to ‘walk the talk’ with this message and have systems in place to offer people tailored support to overcome worries about having work done.
Energy efficiency upgrades will mean you use less energy. We’re in a cost-of-living crisis so changes that reduce costs for residents are attractive. However, the tenant group were keen that we should not promise to reduce bills. This is because if energy bills rise, people will not necessarily pay less after energy efficiency work has been done. The headline message in letters, text messages and emails etc. should be about using less energy.

When having in-depth discussions with residents you can highlight how much less energy they’ll use after the work has been done. You can mention they’ll be paying less compared to if they’d not had the work done.

Energy efficiency upgrades will make your home warmer and more comfortable. The communications group identified that a home should be a haven where you feel safe and comfortable. Improving comfort (and as part of that warmth) should resonate strongly with people. Making your home warmer and more comfortable are headline messages. When having individual conversations about the work you can discuss how this applies to the individual resident’s circumstances – will the work address any problems they have with their property such as draughts? Will a warmer home with improved air quality help with their health condition?
You can help save the planet with an energy efficient home. The tenant group were passionate about the difference energy efficient homes can make to climate change. ONS data shows 75% of adults are either very or somewhat concerned about climate change.

Saving the planet is a positive message but behaviour change theory suggests as a standalone message it does not effectively change people’s behaviour. It needs to be combined with messaging that addresses things that have a more immediate effect on people’s lives. For example, people might like the idea of having a green heating system installed. However, they will only have one fitted if they’re confident it will work well, the installation process will be manageable, and it won’t cause their bills to increase.

Helping save the planet is a positive message but it needs to be combined with messaging that addresses things that have a more immediate effect on people’s lives.
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