World Water Day 2021 Spotlight - Harry Mayers, Home Energy Scotland
Harry is the head of Home Energy Scotland, a national advice network managed by Energy Saving Trust on behalf of the Scottish Government.
Home Energy Scotland provides sustainable energy and transport advice to households across Scotland and, in the last four years, has also provided free water efficiency advice and devices, called water saving packs, in partnership with Scottish Water. During this time Home Energy Scotland advisors have distributed more than 49,000 packs to Scottish householders to promote water efficiency.
Harry’s managed a number of programmes for Energy Saving Trust including their renewables, sustainable transport and loans programmes. He joined the organisation in 2006 after a spell in the Mayor of London’s office where he managed the London Energy Partnership; a key delivery vehicle for the Mayor of London’s Energy Strategy.
Before this he worked with the Energy Conservation and Solar Centre in London where he established a range of projects including:
- One of Energy Saving Trust’s first advice centres
- The Tenants Energy Advice Service
- Employee engagement programmes, and
- Consultancy work for a range of clients including local authorities on district heating and emerging technologies such as pyrolysis and fuel cells.
He developed an energy advice strategy for the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux and established charitable fuel poverty projects in Brighton, London, Sheffield and the Western Isles, working with community groups and health carers to refer vulnerable clients for energy efficiency advice.
World Water Day Blog – Harry Mayers
Water plays a big part in our everyday lives. From drinking, washing, and cooking to toilets and showers, having access to clean, fresh water is essential for our health and wellbeing. But we often take it for granted.
A lot of energy is required to produce and deliver fresh, clean water to our homes, as well as to treat waste water. And we use a lot of energy to heat water in our homes too. Homes account for about 29% of the UK’s total energy use. Of that, a quarter is used to heat water - and that proportion is rising!
It’s clear that protecting our water supply and encouraging water efficiency has a key role to play in reducing our energy use and reducing our carbon emissions.
Water, Energy and Carbon Nexus
The UK has made good progress in reducing home energy use, which fell by 19% between 2008 and 2018. It has been driven by two decades of programmes focused on insulating our homes’ walls and roofs and improving the efficiency of heating systems, appliances and lighting.
As a result, energy demand and carbon emissions in the most efficiently built homes is predominantly associated with hot water.
At Energy Saving Trust, we have clear views on how we can help householders change the way they use water at home.
Policy research on water efficient appliances
We believe in a policy focus on making sure that the appliances in our homes work more efficiently and minimise water use, while using the latest technology to deliver the same benefits.
However, legislation and standards provide better results when combined with advice on making smarter choices. The ‘how’ is of little value without the public understanding the ‘why’; and the benefits to taking action.
Work in Scotland
Most Scottish householders are not water metered and pay for water through their council tax, so they don’t often see the link between saving water, saving energy and saving money. And, because of Scotland’s climate, people assume there’s plenty of water to go around.
That’s why Home Energy Scotland, the Scottish Government’s free, impartial energy advice service which Energy Saving Trust delivers, has teamed up with Scottish Water to deliver the ‘Saving Water in Scotland? Really?’ campaign. It aims to change perceptions on the value of water and raise awareness of better water-saving behaviour, and help people save energy and money out of their energy bills.
Through advice over the phone and face-to-face and through digital events, Home Energy Scotland advisors provide tailored free water efficiency advice and encourage the uptake of Scottish Water’s free water efficient devices by householders- devices like tap aerators and shower timers
As a result, we’ve helped more than 49,000 householders in four years. Our 2019/20 evaluation has shown that nearly 70% of them have adopted new behaviours and 80% now see themselves as being water efficient as a result of the advice and devices they received. Overall, the advice provided in that period has helped customers to achieve lifetime savings of £400,500 and 1,050tCO2 through reducing the amount of hot water they use.