Energy efficiency & fuel poverty

The past few years has seen a huge increase in community energy organisations working on efficiency advice and fuel poverty services in the wake of the energy crisis. You can see more about how the sector has stepped up to meet this challenge in our latest State of the Sector Report, showing that

  • 123 groups are already delivering energy efficiency services across the country in 2021-2022
  • Creating over £3 million+ in energy bill savings for households
  • community organisations tend to be well placed to deliver this work 
  • they have stronger local connections, and a real ability to influence to behaviour change and the uptake of efficiency measures in people's homes
  • you can be in high demand by organisations such as Local Authorities and charities who vunerable consumers because of your position and local knowledge.

Find out more in our latest State of the Sector report here.

If you are considering this work, we have created the below page to help you navigate this area from the expertise of groups we are already working with. 

1) Start with the numbers and have confidence in the sector

Community organisations achieve a much higher rate of return on investment generally when they lead these projects, with recent work by Bristol University showing a 9:1 rate of return. Share this with potential partners (e.g. Local Authorities) and funders to start your work and support.

2) Think about mixing several different, complementary activities. Some of the best community energy efficiency and fuel poverty projects do this (see examples below). They take their audiences on a journey towards installing energy efficiency measures and also then adopting energy efficient behaviours. E.g. integrating a number of the below activities into one streamlined pathway. You may however choose to focus on one activity, depending on your organisation capacity and skills avaliable (e.g. if your organisation doesn't have someone who can do house assessments, but may be able to train to deliver energy advice) 

Advice & Retrofit activities

  • Insulation and heavy measures (deep retrofit services) 
  • Basic draught-proofing (shallow retrofit services)
  • Building assessments/audits
  • Demonstration homes and open eco-homes
  • Advice/support to install renewable tech
  • Energy monitoring 
  • Energy switching 
  • Funding advice (connecting people with government schemes and bills support) 
  • Advice surgeries (home visits, events, telephone advice)
  • Awareness-raising (e.g. stalls, workshops, cafes)

3) Make sure you monitor impact and evaluate as you go - this is a competitive area for funding, so make sure you are monitoring impact from the start. There are a number of ways to do this, including paper forms (templates to be uploaded) and online CRM tools.

  • CEE recently did an online event (Jan 2023) showcasing a new FREE CRM tool (Airtable) as well as other options for groups
  • You can watch the event here

4) Ensure you look at training and have other supports in place (e.g. safeguarding, GDPR). CEE has begun a working document of things to consider here

5) Connect with these further links and resources 

Video Resources

Documents & Downloads