National Energy Foundation launches ‘Working together towards an energy-literate UK’ programme

The National Energy Foundation launches a programme of 10 ‘Big Ideas’ – projects to help improve the nation’s energy literacy. The launch follows a nationally representative survey which throws light on how much the British public really knows about energy.

As part of the National Energy Foundation’s 25-year anniversary activities, the Working together towards an energy-literate UK programme of 10 ‘Big Ideas’ was launched in a presentation by the Foundation’s Chief Executive, Dr Kerry Mashford, to an invited audience at a reception hosted by Dame Mary Archer at her London penthouse.

The reception was an opportunity to share ideas and showcase a series of ‘Big Ideas’ projects (costed at around £1.3 million) which contribute to addressing the issues revealed in the survey, in partnership with other organisations and funders.

Guests at the reception were invited to participate in NEF’s project ideas and work together towards an energy literate UK. They were asked to give a steer to the Foundation’s future charitable work by choosing the most impactful projects to take forward first; and the Foundation now looks forward to working with partners to bring to fruition as many of these exciting projects as possible:

Road-Test Your Home: As cars are road-tested by journalists, 25 householders will be invited to offer their homes for ‘testing’ to establish how well they perform in providing energy efficient, comfortable, healthy homes. The results will be published as a regular feature in a magazine or weekend newspaper.

Mystery Energy Shopper: Where do homeowners seek advice on energy efficient home improvements? And what’s the quality of that advice when they get it? Merchants, builders, developers and tradespeople will be mystery shopped to establish how effective they are at helping their customers, and the results will be published.

NEF Home Movie Channel: 25 short films will provide the ‘what, why and how-to’ on a range of topics from insulating your floor to understanding controls, ventilation and appliance use – and will bust some common myths with fun and humour ….

Aspiring SuperHomers: Building on the success of the existing 183 SuperHomes , 25 householders who aspire to living in low-energy, low-carbon homes will be helped to achieve their goal; they will learn from existing SuperHomers about what to do and how to do it; and the Foundation will learn about them. This will bring NEF closer to its goal of having a SuperHome in every community.

Green Stripes: An opportunity to invest in the training and certification scheme that will answer the needs of building owners, developers, contractors, occupants and operators, ensuring staff – and those in the supply chain – understand what makes a building ‘low-energy’ and how their actions contribute.

Powering Down the Third Sector: 25 one-day courses for school governors, community building managers and charities, looking to reduce their energy bills and improve building performance for their users.

Building Performance Exchange: Interviews of 25 individuals and companies in the buildings supply chain who’ve learned crucial lessons about specifying, designing, delivering and operating buildings to achieve high levels of energy efficiency, enabling these lessons to be shared with others.

Improving Charity Buildings: The aim is to deliver substantial improvements in the energy performance of 25 charity buildings, thereby saving the charities money on their energy bills that they can devote to their core charitable purpose – sharing their stories to inform and inspire others.

Energy HotHouse: Big energy challenge projects will be identified each year, bringing together talented interns over 6-8 weeks each summer to work together under professional guidance to solve problems and deliver tools, solutions and knowledge.

Duke of Edinburgh Energy Envoys: Harnessing the energy and enthusiasm of young people in the volunteering element of their Bronze, Silver and Gold DofE Awards; helping them to become more energy-literate themselves and to work with their schools and communities to spread the message and save energy.

Kerry Mashford, Chief Executive of the National Energy Foundation, commented: “Improving the use of energy in buildings is the National Energy Foundation’s overarching objective. Over the past few months, we’ve been giving some serious thought to the big energy issues facing the UK, with a view to achieving significant impact in terms of reducing energy consumption, improving energy security and reducing fuel poverty.

“We’re looking for support and feedback from potential partners to take forward a number of high-impact projects to improve the energy performance of new and existing buildings, and inspire others to do the same.”