Share the Warmth: Co-designing an online intervention through workshops
Local Government Association (LGA)
As part of the LGA energy saving project, we designed and delivered a 10-month long training programme for local councils on the applications of behavioural insights and co-designing of an online intervention.
Going into the winter of 2022, UK homeowners saw a drastic rise in energy costs. Many lower- and middle-income households found themselves unable to pay their energy bills on time. While retrofitting energy efficient appliances and heating systems can combat high energy costs, for many people these home improvements are prohibitively costly, and financial assistance is limited.
There are many easy, low-cost actions that can help households save hundreds of pounds on their annual energy bills, but people often do not know about these behaviours or do not put them into practice. To address these barriers, we worked alongside a consortium of nine local authorities in Kent and Medway and the NHS to co-design Share the warmth, an online platform where people could learn about effective energy saving actions. During this project, we also introduced councils to behavioural insights through a series of workshops. The combination of hands-on co-design and training helped councils develop the capability of applying behavioural science to their own future research and policies.
Increasing partners' capacity to conduct behavioural science research.
The 10-month long training programme was tailored towards introducing the consortium of local authorities to behavioural science research. The programme consisted of nine, three-hour workshops delivered monthly. Through a good mix of information presentation, discussions, and activities, the workshops guided the participating councils and the NHS team in the key steps of designing and implementing a behavioural intervention. Topics included an introduction to the behavioural trial design process, an overview on conducting context-based behavioural research, and an introduction to the COM-B model. Additionally, the workshops guided the local authorities through the co-design of an RCT checklist, a deliverable designed to guide authorities in the steps to applying a behavioural intervention.
Through these workshops, and supported by The Behaviouralist, participants from the local authorities and the NHS co-created all the stages of the Share the Warmth project and online platform, including intervention ideation and design and delivery. The goal of the project and online platform was to empower participants to share energy-saving tips and to help them reduce their home energy bills. Tips addressed lowering the boiler’s temperature, adjusting the thermostat and installing radiator reflective panels. Every tip was accompanied by extra information and a how-to video. If you would like to find out more about the intervention, you can read our case study on Share the Warmth.
Participants completed an evaluation survey after each workshop.
At the end of each workshop, participants were asked to complete an evaluation survey to provide their feedback on workshop content and delivery. These surveys allowed us to gauge participant reception and satisfaction with the workshop. On average, 85% of participants found the workshops useful. We were gratified to see that participants reported appreciating the split of content and interaction throughout the workshops, with especial praise given to the interactive activities and the moderators’ ability in engaging participants in brainstorming and discussion. At the end of every workshop, participants were encouraged to leave their feedback: “It has been great working with you all and have really enjoyed the project. I have learnt so much which I will be taking forward into projects we have on the go at the moment.”
If you would like to learn more about Share the Warmth, you can find the full report on the LGA website under “Kent council consortiums - reducing energy usage among homeowners.”