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H2eco Behavioural Research (Phase 10)

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Essex & Suffolk Water (ESW) and Mouchel have undertaken a research phase to
establish the specific impact of the behaviour change messages supplied to customers
during a standard H2eco style appointment. The approach used is based on the
customer engagement style used during the award winning H2eco study, which is ESW’s
domestic water efficiency project.

Building on the experiences gained through previous successful phases and utilising an
established team, this research has been completed within a pre-set timeframe in the
Southend-on-Sea area of Essex delivering 1,495 completed appointments during 2014.
These appointments were randomly split into two halves, one half continuing to receive
the H2eco behavioural change information and the other half having all behavioural
change information mindfully removed from the process. From these appointments a
comprehensive data set has been recorded and through the analysis of this data
conclusive evidence supporting the benefits of the behaviour change messages has
been established.

All influences and factors during customers appointments have been taken into account
and it has been demonstrated that the behaviour change messages which are defined
as water savings hints and tips, expression of volumes of water or money saved and
certain behavioural materials provided at the end of appointments had a direct effect on
the customer’s subsequent consumption levels and achieved savings. Of those
customers who continued to receive the behaviour change information, those measured
saw an increased actual saving of 7 l/prop/day (litres, per property, per day), 38% more
than the appointments who did not receive this information.

In addition the research aimed to establish whether door knocking could potentially be
used as a means of additional customer recruitment during H2eco phases. The
approach was trialled over a 7 day period where customers who would normally not
have been accessible to further recruitment attempts such as reminder calling, were
visited by a plumber who tried to engage them in the appointment process. This proved
to be an inefficient method of recruitment in terms of time and effort with only 14
customers from the 544 targeted having an actual appointment on the day and another
18 customers subsequently applying and completing an appointment at a later date. It is
however noteworthy that these customers would not normally have been able to be reengaged
with the project and therefore there is benefit of using door knocking as an
additional, uneconomical means of recruitment if all other efforts have been
unsuccessful at reaching project targets.
Outlined within this report all aspects of the research are detailed including key data and