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PaulS's picture

Village survey - example

Here is an example of a village survey cnducted by Transition Ladock:


Ladock Village First Household Survey

December 2008

Dear all

Thank you to everyone who helped us in carrying out this, the first of our household surveys in Ladock. You have given us some important information, which we describe below. Our plan is to build on this, to find ways of reducing our carbon impact. Hopefully this may also save you money!

For the school this has been an exciting time. The children have learnt about climate change and energy issues, as well as about survey work. The 5th and 6th years delivered the surveys and also keyed in the results. For them, making the connection between global movements and local action and solutions is very important.

For us as well as for them, our world is changing. Climate change and the end of cheap energy will be challenges for all of us, of whatever age.

However before we in Ladock can reduce our impact on the planet we must first find out how much of an impact we're having. Here is the start of our exploration.

We will be hoping to carry out another survey in the spring, to find out more detailed information. Please join us again - and if you didn't manage to get a reply in this time, there's another opportunity!

Finally, thank you to all of you who added your name and address to the survey. There were so many of you that we have decided to drop a copy of the report in to every household. If you want to keep abreast of the work that the transition group is doing, its contact details are at the end of the report.

Kind regards

Lisa Michell

Ladock CofE School


Ladock Village First Household Survey

December 2008

On Thursday 13 November 24 children from years 5 and 6 delivered questionnaires to 102 houses in Ladock village. The following day, and over the weekend, members of the transition group collected 53 responses, a response rate of almost exactly 50%. Thank you to all of you who replied - that is a fantastic response. Over the following two weeks the children keyed in the results. They formed the basis of this report, prepared by the transition group for the village.

A response rate of 50% is considered statistically robust: so what the responses tell us is likely to be accurate to within a percentage point or two.

So here are some of the things we found out.

The size of households

In the households replying, there are 100 adults and 26 children - or, in the village, 200 adults and 52 children. This means that there is an average household size of 2.52 people. This is well above the national average of 2.36 (in 2001), and even further above the Cornwall average of 2.28 people per household.

There may be many reasons for this: one of them may just be because there is a well supported school in the village!

We asked two questions about your houses - the type, and the age. This is because old houses tend to be more difficult to insulate than modern houses, and detached houses more expensive to heat than semi-detached or terraced houses.

Of those replying to this question (46), nearly all lived in houses (44) as opposed to bungalows (1), flats (0) or converted agricultural buildings (1). At 98% this is much higher than the national average of 80% living in houses and bungalows.

45 of you said what type of house you live in - and most are in detached houses (21), then mid-terrace (13), semi-detached (9), and finally, end-terrace (2). In terms of the age of the houses, 47% of those answering the question live in pre-1900 housing, and 35% in houses built since 1961.

The high number of old houses in the village, and of detached houses, means that we need to give attention to issues around insulation. Which brings us on to..


We learnt quite a bit about insulation! We had a wide variety of responses from you. Very significantly 36% of those replying have 6ins or less insulation, another 13% none at all. That's a half of all households having either no insulation, or less than 6ins, and another 25% who don't know how much you have (if any). Only 26% of households have over 6ins. This means that many houses in Ladock are eligible for insulation grants (see box). For anyone with no insulation at all, now is definitely the time to apply!!

We also asked you about wall insulation and double glazing. While 33% of those replying had full wall insulation, 44% had none. Two thirds of you (65%) have double glazing. A small number of households have double glazing but no effective loft insulation.


Our next set of questions was around heating - and the replies were rich and varied!

Our first discovery has been that most of us (the authors of this report included) have absolutely no idea how many kilowatt hours of electricity we use in any given period. Well done those who do! This clearly puts many of us at a disadvantage, as it means that we have to go on price comparisons alone between energy companies, and can only judge how much we use by the size of our bill. Of the 28% who do know, the range in consumption is between 600 and 9,000 kWh per year. This indicates a huge variation in usage, and is also true for oil (between 200 and 4,000 litres per year) and coal (from 75kg to 1 tonne). Whether the variation in use says anything about efficiency we shall have to try to answer in our next survey.

The other sources of fuel mentioned for heating are 13% for wood, and 17% for bottled gas.

In most cases it wasn't clear from the answers we received which was the primary source of energy for different households. While the assumption has to be that electricity is the main source of energy, we shall need to test this more carefully in the future.

What was clear from those who answered it is that energy forms a major (and presumably, growing) part of the family budget, and we shall need to give attention to how this can be brought down over time.


Our final set of questions was over travel - both car and plane.

Cars first. The 53 households who replied had between them 77 cars - a rate per household of 1.45. However the really striking thing is that only 11% of households have no car, against 27% having no car nationally. Just under half of all households - 47% - have one, against a national average of 44%; 28% have two (24%), and 11% have three (4%).

It is well known that more people living in rural areas have a car than in urban areas, simply in order to get around - and the point is proved in this survey. However this imposes greater costs on the household, especially when energy prices rise (as they surely will again). Nearly all households have cars of 2 litres or less - and 48% of cars are 1.4 litres or under. Nearly 70% of vehicles are petrol powered, not far off the national average (78% in 2002 and declining).

Air travel. The flights information importantly confirms the national position, which is that the expansion of air travel is by those who fly, flying more often, not about more people flying. Of the 47 who replied to the questions on flying, 25, or 53%, said that no-one from their household flies. Of the others, two thirds (67%) fly two or three times a year. 68% of flights are short-haul (UK and Europe) against 32% long-haul. There was only one example of people flying long haul and not flying short-haul. As we cut emissions in response to climate change, it is short-haul flights that are most likely to be curtailed.

We didn't ask any questions about public transport. That will be for next time.