The South West 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 to fund innovative projects piloting new approaches to providing local in-person energy advice.
The aim of the local energy advice pilots is to trial different ways to deliver in-person advice and explore their effectiveness. This will enable a better understanding of the advice requirements of different consumer groups and across different housing archetypes.
There is a particular focus on harder-to-treat properties and digitally excluded consumer groups
Our programme will provide funding of up to £2m, from a funding pot of £4.2m, to individual projects that can be delivered over the 2023-4 and 2024-5 financial years.
In March 2023 the Hub invited providers to come forward with pilot projects that provide innovative in-person energy advice to consumers in their local areas. Following a competitive application process, six organisations were awarded funding to deliver projects in partnership with the Hub.
Find out more about the projects being supported through the Local Energy Advice Demonstrator in the South West:
Location: Bath and North East Somerset
Project name: Green Heritage Homes project
Increasing the rate of sensitive retrofitting of historic buildings by growing knowledge and confidence among householders and professionals. Enhanced content for retrofit assessments (including in relation to embodied carbon) will be shared through face-to-face advice, events, surgeries and specialist training for householders and professionals, in addition to engagement with landlords of listed building properties. A pre-application process to inform householders of options at the start of their retrofit journey will also be piloted.
Location: West of England Combined Authority and North Somerset
Project name: Centre for Sustainable Energy – West of England
Supporting households in hard-to-treat properties with a focus on people with low awareness of retrofit or concern about costs, disruption, or detrimental impact on energy bills or building fabric. The project will create a practical and innovative community-led approach to engagement offering face-to-face advice through Green Open Homes events, visits to local properties with retrofit measures already installed and by providing opportunities to hear directly from the householder about benefits and installation process.
Location: Wiltshire Council and Swindon Council areas
Project name: Futureproof Wiltshire
Working with Wiltshire Council and Swindon Borough Council, and with Rural Communities Energy Network to support homeowners across Wiltshire facing barriers to engage with retrofit. Targeting mainly off-gas and solid wall properties in the Wiltshire area and hard-to-reach households in Swindon, the project will support people in need of additional advice and financial support with free or subsidised in-person tailored advice on appropriate energy saving measures. Homeowners will receive help getting building works underway, from finding installers to identifying green finance options. Free retrofit advice training and support for community partners will encourage a community-based approach to engaging with homeowners.
Location: Isle of Wight and Solent
Project name: Footprint Trust and Testlands Wellbeing Hub
Developing innovative methods of providing personalised and effective energy advice to diverse consumer groups. This project aims to bring an inclusive and people-centric approach to providing detailed help and advice to over 7,500 people to help them improve their homes and reduce bills. Tailored energy advice will empower householders to make informed decisions regarding the energy efficiency of their homes. The project will also help identify grants that people can apply for to carry out the work on their homes.
Project name: PEC and partners in the Far South West Retrofit Consortium
Driving engagement with housing retrofit to improve energy efficiency resulting in lower bills, reduced emissions and improved occupant health and wellbeing. This project will focus on three population groups who are hard to reach or seldom reached by current advice provision – the digitally excluded, low-income households, and owners of traditionally built properties. Central to the project will be a focus on how best to conduct in-person retrofit advice visits to people’s homes, with high quality resources, advisor training, and follow on support services all contributing to the solution.
Project Name: Severn Wye
Offering in-person advice to more homeowners in Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire, often living in rural areas. The funding will also unlock an opportunity to work with landlords of households of multiple occupancy. Accredited Energy Assessors and Retrofit Coordinators will provide quality assurance to the advice provided and enable homeowners and landlords to make the right decisions for them and their homes. Working together with people to make homes more energy efficient and act on climate change.