Local Energy Advice Demonstrator

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Local Energy Advice Demonstrator Programme

The NEY Net Zero Hub is working with the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero and the four other Net Zero Hubs to deliver a Local Energy Advice Demonstrator programme that will fund innovative projects piloting new approaches to providing local in-person energy advice, in their respective areas/ regions.

The programme will provide over £4 million of funding to projects in the North East of England running from Summer 2023 until March 2025.

The aim of the local energy advice pilots is to test various approaches to delivering in-person advice, with a particular focus on harder-to-treat properties and harder-to-reach consumer groups.

  • Hard-to-treat buildings – the UK has the oldest building stock in Europe. In-person visits can better capture the complexities of these building types, which are harder to address through digital and telephone advice.
  • Hard-to-reach consumers – local, in-person advice may extend the service to certain consumer types e.g., the elderly, disengaged, those with limited internet access, minority ethnic groups, etc.

The pilots form part of the multi-channel home energy advice service being developed by Department for Energy Security and Net Zero which also includes a new energy retrofit advice service on GOV.UK to help people better understand how to make energy efficiency improvements to their home, and the energy efficiency phoneline service which can be reached on 0800 098 7950.

Amanda Solloway, Minister for Energy Consumers and Affordability, said:  

“We want everyone to be able to get expert advice on how to make their homes more energy efficient, no matter where they live, so they can save money. 

These innovative projects will bring that expertise right to people’s doorsteps, quite literally in some cases, ensuring people are given the best advice on how to save money on their bills and heat their homes for less without needing to search for it.  

This is alongside our investment of billions of pounds to improve energy efficiency across the country – reducing bills at the same time as making sure Britain’s homes are fit for the future.” 

Schools and community hubs will also be put to use in projects across the country to help pass on energy advice and support for households. 

Energy efficiency remains the best approach to reducing fuel poverty in the long-term, contributing to warmer homes and reduced energy bills, while helping to cut carbon emissions.   

The new initiative launched today will help households to access these benefits – particularly the elderly and those without internet access, or in listed buildings and rural areas. 

Successful projects are as follows:

City of York

One of two projects focusing on harder to treat/ solid walled homes in councils designated conservation areas and the only project covering homes on traveller sites. The project will create strong partnerships (including with academics, planners etc.) to provide multi-disciplinary bespoke advice. It will also embed performance monitoring technology to monitor the impact of the retrofit work in each home. 

Efficiency North

The Project aims to provide a package of PAS-compliant energy efficiency advice to aid homeowners of non-traditional construction solid walled properties bought from the council’s right to buy scheme on the same 8 council estates. The project will seek to enable the resident/ owner to be empowered to make informed retrofit decisions. 

Groundworks Yorkshire

The project will target two main groups: older and lower-income private rented sector tenants, who often struggle to access government funding for the fuel poor; and older, asset-rich but cash-poor owner-occupiers. The project will deliver retrofit assessments and expand the number of home visits under their in-person “Green Doctor” service. They will ultimately identify the barriers to owner occupiers and landlords engaging in Retrofit Assessments and produce data on how this can be improved.

North of Tyne Combined Authority

The project will coordinate in-person energy advice across the North East region which includes Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle upon Tyne, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside and Sunderland.  The project aligns to the One Stop Shop for retrofit advice being developed for North of Tyne – signposting and/or providing retrofit assessments.  The project will pilot the use of QR codes to link to retrofit recommendation plans. The project will also provide retrofit awareness training to local community leaders/charities/service providers to support engagement with harder-to-reach residents.

North Yorkshire Council

Multi-site pilot that is sharing resources to overcome lack of confidence in retrofit and a lack of communication among installers. The pilot will build confidence between contractors by establishing a profession network and creating pride within the community by utilising trusted local players and spaces to meet residents with a goal encouraging a community effort. A retrofit bus will be used to reach consumers.

West Yorkshire Combined Authority

Activity will be focused in areas of West Yorkshire with a higher population of older people facing deprivation, older people who are able to pay or people with low proficiency in English. Engagement will focus on building relationships with communities in their spaces, utilising existing trusted relationships and creating valued community champions. Retrofit assessments will also be provided.

YES Energy Solutions

Project focusing particularly on the digitally excluded, those on low-incomes, and ethnic minority groups in West Yorkshire. Customers will receive a Net Zero Readiness Assessment, which will detail the measures that may be suitable for their home, but also the specific barriers to that consumer installing energy efficiency measures. This will enable energy advisors to highlight solutions to these barriers and provide a clear path to retrofit.

For more information please contact enquiries@NEYnetzerohub.com