Socially Grown, a marketing agency based at Keele University, in collaboration with Residential Energy Services, has successfully secured £373,329 in funding for a mobile energy advice service targeting hard-to-reach households. The funding comes from the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, with support from the Midlands Net Zero Hub. This initiative is part of the Government’s Local Energy Advice Demonstrator Programme (LEAD), which seeks to provide innovative energy efficiency advice to those in need.
Out of 36 successful applicants to the LEAD program, Socially Grown and Residential Energy Services are among the awardees. They will work on a pilot project that aims to deliver energy efficiency advice through in-person, home-based consultations to consumer groups in the Midlands. This initiative is particularly focused on engaging with vulnerable and hard-to-reach households.
Residential Energy Services (RES) has a history of providing energy subsidy awareness and advisory services to over 20,000 households in the UK. Their expertise lies in educating households about energy efficiency measures and overseeing the process from advice to installation.
The project will begin in Staffordshire and Shropshire, utilising a community outreach and education vehicle to bring energy efficiency awareness to local communities. The initiative will target underserved households and work towards creating tailored energy plans that reduce fuel bills and enhance housing conditions.
According to End Fuel Poverty, a significant number of households in England spend over 10% of their income on energy bills. Many low-income households live in inefficient homes, posing a challenge to the UK’s net-zero targets.
The goal of the project is to provide energy advice to around 6,000 households annually. A RES pop-up hub will be set up in strategic locations such as health centers, community centers, and rural events to engage with residents. The project is set to run for two years.
Sarah Parry, Managing Director of Socially Grown/Residential Energy Services, emphasised the initiative’s transformative approach to delivering tailored energy advice and retrofit plans to underserved communities. This project aims to make energy efficiency expertise accessible to everyone, regardless of their location.
Amanda Solloway, Minister for Energy Consumers and Affordability, expressed the importance of providing expert advice to help households save on energy bills and make their homes more energy-efficient. The funding for this initiative aligns with the UK’s broader investments in improving energy efficiency across the country.