Government 'Energy Advice Demonstrator funding competition' - a short briefing


This is a brief summary of information discussed at a recent webinar hosted by the Greater South East Net Zero Hub, please watch in full/refer to the webinar slides for more detail.

An England-wide competition was to be launched by BEIS [now assumed to be taken over by the new Department for Energy Security and Net Zero] and the Net Zero Hubs, to provide local, innovative, in-person energy advice services to consumers. These services, which will be co-designed by the providers with DESNZ and the Hubs, will be pilot projects that explore the effectiveness of different methods of in-person advice, and better understand the advice requirements of different consumer groups. Projects are expected to provide support either for hard-to-treat properties or for hard-to-reach consumers. It is scheduled to launch in Feb 2023. This is expected to offer insights that could be replicated nationally. Providers can make a maximum request of £2 million investment over financial years 2023-24 and 2024-25.

The competition has not yet launched, further information about the scope and requirement of the pilot projects and competition is to be available for download soon. The following details have been gathered from a recent webinar hosted by the Greater South East Net Zero Hub.

Strategic themes:

Projects must deliver at least one of first two themes, or both:

  • Technical support for hard to treat properties
    • E.g. Complex building types
  • Technical support for hard to reach consumers
    • Specific type of consumers, such as those digitally excluded, ethnic groups, fuel poor, off-gas etc.

Optional aims may include:

  • Support for consumers pursuing retrofit as part of broader home renovation
  • Support for consumers pursuing a whole house retrofit
  • Signposting and brokerage support to enable consumers to access accredited/robust home energy advice visits and audits

There’s to be a Focus on projects that are:

  • delivering physical and financial measures specifically focused on energy efficiency or clean heating measures. - general energy advice is out of scope, including help with bills, debt redress, switching providers, generic sources of finance etc.
  • 1:1 in-person advice, cafes, workshops that would lead to retrofit - this is key to supplement the new web services and upcoming phone line. 
  • new and innovative - could include expanding existing services into a new geographical and/or methodological context.
  • Aligning with the digital service advice available on and the upcoming phone line. This includes being able to prioritise customers for whom adequate support cannot be delivered through the website or phone line. 

They are specifically looking to:

  • Achieve a community approach
  • Testing new approaches 
  • Gain Insights on:
    • evidence based/evaluation to inform future schemes 
    • identify the type of advice required for different consumer groups
    • replicable projects


  • A clear geographical area targeted by project must be identified
  • Applications must request no more than £2 million of investment over 2023-2025 financial years.
  • Submit and deliver the project by an appropriate legal entity - Registered Charity, CICs, Co-ops, BenComms, CIOs, Development Trust, Registered society (pre 2014 IPS), Faith Group, Local Community Groups in partnership with a Local Authority, Local Authorities, Parish Councils.