British Gas

“Energy efficiency in social housing: making the green deal work”

British Gas is the UK’s leading energy and home services provider. Local authority and housing association decision makers needed to understand how energy efficiency could help them meet their most pressing concerns – cost cutting and a changing policy agenda. Linstock built a thought leadership position for British Gas by helping to tackle one of the most significant policy challenges of the day and helped position the business as an important ally to social housing organisations.

Brief
British Gas hired Linstock to help enhance its reputation with social housing providers in local authorities and housing associations, in support of its efforts to sell services into these markets.

Activity
The Government’s Green Deal set out to makes British homes more energy efficient. Under the scheme, householders can enjoy better insulation now and pay for the benefit through future energy bills. But what of the social housing sector, where people are reluctant to take on debt, some need energy efficiency just to make them comfortable and local authorities and housing associations are critical partners in maintenance and home improvement? Our strategy focused on taking a thought leadership position for British Gas that would help the social housing sector forge a Green Deal that works for them.

Research came first, and we delivered a perception audit of local authority and housing association views, supplemented by intelligence and insight on the policy and political environment. We forged a relationship with expert analysts and policy thinkers from the New Local Government Network (NLGN) to develop a sound policy base for British Gas and advised on the recommendations and presentation of a NLGN report. Using that report we delivered media coverage across the social housing sector press, brokered support from the Government’s Housing and Regeneration Minister, and staged party conference events to engage with senior local authority decision makers.

Results
Our work generated positive press coverage across sector press including Local Government Chronicle, Municipal Journal, Inside Housing and others and helped British Gas forge closer relationships with stakeholders from business, government and the third sector on energy efficiency and social housing. It unearthed multiple high value business opportunities with local authorities.

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