Over the past few months, my colleague and I have chatted to countless MPs (well the secretaries of MPs to be exact), as well as contacting numerous energy organisations and councils to help our client, Knauf Insulation, successfully launch the Local Authority Energy Index (LAEI).
After collaborating with the globally recognised energy efficiency and finance expert, Dr Steven Fawkes, Knauf Insulation’s Index was officially developed. The Index allows officials, councillors and other interested parties to measure their energy efficiency efforts against other areas and to find ways to overcome barriers they may be facing. There isn’t currently any form of benchmarking and the aim of the Index is to produce healthy competition between local authorities and act as a platform to share best practice.
The pilot report that scored 25 Local Authorities from across the UK, was launched at the House of Commons in December where there was attendance from members of the national and trade press, MPs, local authority officials, organisations such as DECC (Department of Energy and Climate Change) and the Sustainable Energy Association (SEA) and support from the UKGBC (UK Green Building Council).
The event was very engaging and rallied up numerous questions, debates and discussions from all those who attended. After such a successful launch, Knauf Insulation extended the campaign and collaborated with the Guardian Public Leaders Network. This led to a live debate on the Guardian website, as well as a seminar that helped to discuss the topic of energy efficiency within local authorities further.
Held at the Guardian’s very swanky head office in February, the seminar was buzzing with senior officials all there to listen to the panel of leading industry bodies; Malcolm Ball, Director Energy Efficiency at UK Green Investment Bank; which has funding available that local authorities can access, Ian Hutchcroft Head of Local Delivery, Energy Saving Trust, Tim Pryce Head of Public Sector, The Carbon Trust, Sarah Sims Program Manager – Housing at Bristol City Council and Steven Heath, Director of Public Affairs and Strategy (Northern Europe) at Knauf Insulation to discuss energy efficiency: how to enhance local authority strategies.
The general consensus from the seminar was that there is a need for benchmarking across councils, sharing best practice and having robust measurements in place to build an effective business case - and therefore safeguarding support from the top levels in councils.
The whole campaign was supported by a comprehensive social media and PR plan, which helped Knauf Insulation gain extra media coverage and spread the word of the Index wider.
I can honestly say that it was very fun and exciting to work on a project of this calibre. I look forward to continue working on the LAEI with Knauf Insulation and you never know, your council might be scored in the near future!
If you want to find out more about the LAEI click here, or alternatively you can join the conversation by using the hashtag #EnergyIndex