Energy Champion scheme (2013)
Thanks to our successful funding bid to the Department of Energy and Climate Change, in 2014, we were able to create three local Energy Champions to help people in Plymouth save money and energy in their homes.
We submitted a bid for a grant from the Big Energy Saving Network Fund. We were successful in our bid and received funds to be able to train three ‘Energy Champions’: Barbara Hampson, Dave Garland and James Stratton.
The training was aimed at helping people reduce their energy bills. It involved helping people understand their energy bills, and energy usage and giving them advice on how switching suppliers might help reduce costs. Under the criteria of the grant, our Energy Champions were required to attend a certain number of community events and reach a certain number of people.
Between November 2013 and March 2014, they attended 22 events in total – ranging from Christmas Fairs, to sessions in libraries; they joined with other advice workers on the Big Community Bus and spoke to Council staff at drop in sessions. They tried to reach members of the community but also frontline staff who could then pass on energy advice to others. They met and talked to over 400 people. Apart from one instance the reactions were positive – even when Barbara had to compete with the attraction of Father Christmas!
Comments from Barbara on being an ‘Energy Champion’:
“It was fantastic to actually be out there, helping people face to face, meeting members of the community, those that work with them and other volunteers and also getting to know more about Plymouth. It’s been great to be able to tell them about PEC and its developments. There has been plenty of support when needed from the council’s low carbon team. I would definitely recommend you to get involved in any training and volunteering opportunities with PEC. I learnt so much and am happy to pass on my new found knowledge.”