Thursday, 5 February 2009

Energy Monitor Loans from Libraries in Lewisham

Here is an officer report on how the smart meter project is going in Lewisham -- hopefully we can get them for Reading's libraries:

The project was launched by Lewisham's Mayor on the 31st October 2008.

Thirty-six energy monitors (or 'smart meters' as they are also called) were initially put in Lewisham's libraries to be loaned out for 3 week periods. Library records since then show an average of 70% of the meters loaned at any one time, and we have now increased the numbers of meters available in libraries to 40.

The launch of the initiative was publicised in local media and posters and leaflets are placed in each library to encourage people to take advantage of the offer. The idea is that people can borrow a smart meter in the same way as they might loan a book, CD or DVD. In addition staff from the Council's Sustainable Resources Group have attended events at libraries and elsewhere to explain about the smart meters and talk more widely about the Council's work on fuel poverty and climate change.

A wide range of ages and backgrounds of people have expressed interest in the loans which suggests a fairly universal appeal so far. Feedback on the meters has been good in the vast majority of cases, with a few residents actually going to buy one at the end of the loan period.

The Council initially purchased 100 meters from Eco-eye at a price of ? 2593.00. The meters were chosen as the most user friendly and cost-effective of those considered, and the company were also able to offer corporate branding.

Alongside the library scheme we have loaned smart meters to Lewisham Council staff (50% of whom also live in the borough) and provided additional support in setting up the meters to a smaller group of residents as a way of getting direct feedback.

This ongoing project will be assessed in more detail after 6 months.

2 comments:

scott redding said...

This looks very interesting. I'm going to ask the cabinet member for libraries in Coventry to consider a similiar project.

Sue said...

Hi Rob
Worth mentioning of course that it was a Lewisham Green Group budget amendment that led to the scheme being set up! Good luck with your campaign in Reading.