Step-by-step communication guide

Here is a step-by-step guide to the process you should follow when communicating with a resident who is due to have energy efficiency improvements done in their home.

Send a letter to let the resident know they may be eligible for energy efficiency work. This should be from a named contact, preferably a customer liaison officer, who they will be in touch with throughout the project. We’ve produced a template for this.

Visit to find out if energy efficiency work needs doing. A resident liaison officer and a member of the technical team should visit the home. The technical colleague will assess what work needs to be completed. The resident liaison officer will meet the resident and explain more about what energy efficiency improvements are, why they might be needed, and what work will involve.

Confirm eligibility. Send a letter to let the resident know if they are eligible for the energy efficiency work. We’ve produced a template for this.

Energy efficiency roadshow. Hold an energy efficiency roadshow in a community centre or a demo home. This is an opportunity to:

  • Demonstrate energy efficiency improvements to residents – explain how they work and how they’re fitted.
  • Enable residents to meet contractors, so they know who will work on their homes.
  • Invite residents who have already had work done to come along and share their experience and talk to other residents at the event.
  • Give out guidebooks, signpost to online information and show videos about the process.
  • Consult with residents about the scheme.
  • Recruit resident ambassadors.

Incentivise people to attend by offering refreshments or a buffet. Make sure the event is accessible by choosing a time which will be convenient for most people living in the area, allow children to attend, and accommodate access requirements.

A more detailed home check and resident consultation. The resident liaison officer and technical colleague(s) should attend this appointment. We’d advise completing as many of the technical surveys as possible at the one appointment, to avoid multiple visits. If you’re using a number of different contractors it may not be practical to have just one appointment but keep the resident’s needs in mind and keep them informed.

The customer liaison officer should meet with the resident to:

  • Talk through plans and provide further information as needed (this can include giving out a project handbook).
  • Complete a questionnaire with the resident to find out more about them and their needs. What are their concerns about the process and how can you offer support?
  • Listen to the resident explain any issues and concerns they have about their home. They are the one who knows their home best and the information they give can be invaluable.
  • Discuss choices with the resident – for example, do they want their home redecorating or would they prefer vouchers to do it themselves?
  • Talk about financial implications – what is the likely effect on bills? Offer reassurance it won’t impact on their rent or service charge. Agree compensation – for example will you replace floor coverings or redecorate? Will residents be compensated if anything goes wrong?
  • Seek any necessary permissions from the resident– this can range from giving contractors permission to use their bathroom while they are doing work, to Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) privacy notices.
  • Explain the role of the resident ambassadors (if you have them) and provide contact details.

Agree and confirm timings for work. Provide the resident with a schedule of work. If there is anything they need to do, make sure this is included in the schedule. If you are providing additional support, such as loft clearance, make sure you include when this will take place.

Work starts. Make sure the tenant liaison officer visits the site regularly and is available for people to contact with any queries or issues. Ensure residents are familiar with resident ambassadors. When any new technology is installed, the tradesperson should talk the resident through operating it and leave an instruction manual and / or a QR code to online instruction manuals or videos.

Visit after work has finished. Once work has been completed the tenant liaison officer should visit to check the resident is satisfied with the work and there is nothing outstanding to be done. They should check they are confident using new technology and provide any refresher training if it’s required. In some cases more than one follow up visit will be needed.

This process should sit alongside PAS2035 requirements. PAS2035 was published by the British Standards Institute in 2019 to create a recognisable quality standard for the retrofit and energy efficiency work. All projects funded by the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, Energy Company Obligation, Local Authority Delivery Scheme or Home Upgrade Grant are required to comply.

The purpose of this standard is make sure deep retrofit projects are high quality, safe, and fit for the future. Further information can be found on the Self Assessment Checklist Supporting Document.

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