Article information Published on: November 13, 2012 Updated on: April 24, 2013 Prepared by: Suzanne Newman

Relish™ stands for ‘Residents 4 Low Impact Sustainable Homes’.

We have completed Relish™ phase 1 and published our results in the Year One Results Report.

The phase 1 pilot demonstrated that works (focused on creating as energy efficient a solution as possible within a £6,500 budget per home), combined with resident advice, results in savings of 20% on energy bills. For some residents, this is the equivalent of just under 5 weeks’ rent.

Relish™ phase 2 begins in April 2011 and will be rolled out across 159 occupied homes alongside decent home works. Phase 2 will focus on:

  • applying lessons learned from phase 1;
  • Relish™ training for surveyors and trades people;
  • appointing resident advocates;
  • developing a personalised, automated feedback system for monthly advice to supplement the home visit support;
  • applying the Relish™ principles to a different type of building stock and construction.

Relish™ phase 3

We recognise that the investment required to implement a Relish™ programme across a large property portfolio may not be affordable for some social landlords.

However, we have already measured the benefits of a range of low cost measures on energy consumption in homes. These include changes to our approach to refurbishments, such as plastering behind baths, topping up cavity wall insulation etc. which are easy to achieve for a minimal cost increase.

We are evaluating two areas where Relish™ principles can be rolled out to wider audiences.

  1. Training surveyors and contractors so they understand what makes a real difference to energy consumption. Ensuring sensible improvements are included within a responsive repair environment and for planned specifications.
  2. Training all visiting staff such as surveyors, resident liaison personnel and handymen to enable them to provide advice/support to residents on fuel use and energy management.

The Relish™ rating

Following Relish™ phase 1, the Relish™ rating is in the early stages of development. It is anticipated that Relish™ phase 2 will provide the control data required to develop the energy use banding to determine the criteria for a low energy user and a high energy user. This will be the base data for the rating system.

We are excited about the opportunities the Relish™ rating will provide to:

  • explain consumption levels in energy bills for individual households;
  • explain how specific households energy use compares to other households;
  • advise on the best energy saving techniques;
  • advise on appliance purchase and use;
  • incentivise households to develop good energy habits.

The Relish™ rating is still at an early stage of development and may require further support from government before it is developed for general release. Ultimately, the Relish™ rating could become a household energy performance certificate, giving residents an insight into not only how energy efficient their homes are, but also how energy efficient their lifestyles are too!

We have a series of documents offering more information on Relish™, and you can download them here:

To register your interest or for more information, please visit the main Relish website.