Orkney Housing Association (OHAL) has won a national award for Best Practice in Involving Customers at the Tenant Participation Advisory Service (TPAS) National Good Practice Awards.
The Association’s Energy Officer, Robert Leslie, collected the award for a project to devise easy-to-use heat pump guides for its residents.
The judges were looking for evidence of listening to individuals or groups of customers and responding with services that better matched their needs. The Energy Ideas Fund Heat Pump Project, which was run in partnership with Aberdeen’s James Hutton Institute and heat pump manufacturer NIBE, won the trophy.
Mr Leslie, who collected the award on the Association’s behalf at the TPAS Gala Awards ceremony in St Andrews, said: “This was a major team effort within OHAL and with our partners at the James Hutton Institute and NIBE. As part of the project, residents were sent questionnaires, which were analysed by the James Hutton Institute researchers, and several homes were monitored for energy usage, temperature and humidity. Technical experts from heat pump manufacturer NIBE also visited Orkney to host workshops for residents and local contractors to ensure the requirements of residents were central to development of the guides.”
The finished guides, which were designed and printed by iDesign Orkney, were sent to 281 OHAL properties that have NIBE exhaust air heat pumps, which provide heating and hot water for households, as well as ventilating properties to prevent condensation and dampness.
Phil Hurley, managing director at NIBE, said: “The Energy Ideas Fund Heat Pump Project is an incredibly important initiative to help Orkney Housing Association’s residents get the most out of their heat pump systems, and it couldn’t be more deserving of this award. At NIBE, we’re truly proud to have played a key part in bringing the project to fruition.”
Richard Flett, Development & Properties Manager at OHAL added: “The project put our residents at the centre of the process to develop the new guides, with the fundamental aim being for them to gain greater understanding and confidence in use and operation, leading to increased satisfaction with operation, comfort and cost.”
Robert Leslie continued: “We are also grateful to NIBE UK for running the workshops for residents and contractors. It was a challenging project but, from feedback from residents, one that has had real benefits. Immediately after the guides were sent out we experienced much higher engagement, understanding and positive feedback from residents in the maintaining, operating and the efficient running of the systems.”