IPPR was asked to review the results and implications of the Green Streets initiative.

Key findings include:

  • The average energy saving across all Green Streets households was just over 25%.
  • All streets saw a significant reduction in their average energy use during the course of the project. The street average ranged from under 15% in London to almost 35% in Leeds, although most streets were in the range 22-27%.
  • Average carbon emissions from domestic energy for Green Streets households in the base year (2007-08) were 6.14 tonnes of carbon dioxide, just above the national average for 2006 of 6 tonnes per household.
  • The average reduction in carbon emissions over the course of the project was 23%, but again there was a considerable range between streets. In total, the reduction in emissions from energy use in Green Streets households was just under 89 tonnes.
  • All streets maintained savings in gas use throughout the year (with the exception of the London households). Savings in electricity were also maintained in four streets (Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds and Plymouth), but in the other streets changes in electricity use were more erratic.
  • Analysis of actual vs modelled energy savings implies that behaviour and lifestyle changes play a major role in determining outcomes.
  • Interviews with participants suggest that the energy advisers, the hand-held electricity meters and the competition element were key drivers of behavioural change.
  • An unanticipated effect of the Green Streets project was that it increased social interaction and community spirit, with many people meeting neighbours for the first time, and with some evidence of sustained and additional effects.