As we saw in our previous blog, Net Zero is not a ‘one-and-done’ thing. But often, from the perspective of residents, that is what it can feel like. At least, until their approval is needed on the next round of works.
This approach of stop-start communications is counterproductive for all parties. For landlords, they will miss out on key insights – duplicating their workload – and ultimately fracture their relationship with residents, hindering future interventions. For residents, they will miss out on further energy optimisation measures, meaning they will not save as much money as they could. For the environment, carbon emission reductions will not be as great as they could be.
So, to maximise residents’ savings and carbon reductions, resident communication must be seamless pre- and post-installation. This blog explores what that looks like – from providing a forum for resident feedback to smart energy savings and repairs.
Firstly, Learn from Rejection
No matter how transparent, consistent, regular, tailored, and generally well-thought out a resident engagement strategy, not every resident will want to take part in a retrofit project. And that’s normal. What’s key is to ensure an open channel of communication and learn from that experience. Sometimes, getting a ‘No’ can be just as valuable as a ‘Yes’. By understanding what a resident’s hesitancies are, getting to the core of their priorities, and working out how to support them not only helps direct communication about a project, but indeed, can direct future capital works.
It’s also important to understand that a hard ‘No’ can turn into a ‘Yes’. Sero have had numerous experiences of this. For example, one resident in South Wales who had opted out of a 500-home project approached the team a few months after their neighbour’s home had been done, asking where they could sign up as they’d seen the difference it had made! Similarly, previously uncertain residents have approached Sero staff at community events, saying they have been amazed by just how transformative a project has been.
Continual Optimisation Using Smart Home Technology
For those residents who do opt-in to retrofits, it’s important they see the ongoing value of a project and that this is communicated to them. This is where smart home technologies come in. By continually monitoring homes’ internal environment and energy usage, automatic optimisation can occur based on residents’ usage trends. This can include automatically switching to the best tariff, which is covered in another blog with Tallarna here.
Fast Repairs When Things Go Wrong
Smart technologies, such as Sero’s BEE, support housing professionals to help their residents with repairs in real time. Data collected from the BEE can help identify those homes that have issues and what those issues are – sometimes even before a resident is aware of something having gone wrong. This enhances both reactive and proactive maintenance, helping repair teams more efficiently plan their workload.
The above solves the challenge of identifying that something has gone wrong. But who pays for it? This is where insurance comes in.
Energy Savings Insurance guarantees retrofits’ energy performance and what this means in pounds and pence. So, residents have guaranteed day-one savings from projects. This means two things. Firstly, should something go wrong, they will be paid out promptly. And secondly, that the insurer will pay the cost of parts and labour to repair an underperforming piece of kit. Tallarna’s insurance policy covers project performance for up to 30 years, meaning everyone is protected for the long run.
How Tallarna and Sero Are Helping Social Housing Landlords Engage with Their Residents
As part of Sero’s retrofit coordination services, Sero’s resident engagement experts run workshops and can help produce resident surveys to support landlords in developing the right engagement strategy. In 2024, a dashboard for landlords will also be launched to help them utilise the data collected by the BEE more effectively. While Sero supports Social Housing Providers with resident engagement and continual home optimisation, Tallarna delivers a unique software-led insurance policy that protects residents at every step of the journey. Such peace of mind gives all parties the freedom to meaningful decarbonise, safe in the knowledge that works are guaranteed all the way.
Michelle Taute, Tallarna
Kris Ablett, Sero