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Carbon Acton Network
Awards 2014
Presented at the CAN National Training-Day Conference
Held at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry on 7 October 2014
By Don Leiper - Director, New Business, E.ON Energy Solutions
& Paul Maplethorpe - National Chair of the Carbon Action Network
East Midlands CAN Award Winner
Electric Corby Community Energy
Collecting Award: Sara Earl
Electric Corby is a Community Interest Company formed with the support of the
Borough Council, to establish Corby as the UK’s leading practical, community-scale
test centre for future low carbon living and transportation, and to redistribute the
benefits of its labours to the Corby community.
Having a fair, low-price, 100%-green offer was a priority to CBC and EC when
researching an energy switching tariff for the community. Partnering with Green
Energy UK, ECCE is able to offer a same-price tariff, however the customer pays, two
simple tariffs and a cash back to the customer and Corby community projects.
The scheme was launched at CBC’s Fuel Poverty Summit, and a ‘Power to the People’
rally through the Town Centre. Since the launch, ECCE ‘community dome’ has visited
various local festivals, regular Corby Radio energy call-in ‘surgeries’, vulnerable
peoples events with the NHS, and Corby Voluntary Community Service DECC Big
Energy Savers Scheme. ECCE have found a better energy offer for the people of Corby
and have launched a Community Energy 4% switching rate in 2013/14.
Other Nominees: Nick Bolton and Duncan Lucas
East Pennine CAN Award Winner
Jane Mears
East Riding Council
Collecting Award: Paul Maplethorpe
Jane has undertaken a number of air source heating projects
for private landlords in her East Riding Council area over the
past few years.
London HECA Award Winner
Jo Gill
London Borough of Hillingdon
In 2013, London Borough of Hillingdon set out to deliver a large-scale solid wall insulation
(SWI) scheme to private sector households. The scheme was the first of its kind in London
and delivered SWI to 135 homes in the space of just a few months. Hillingdon provided
£100,000 worth of funding towards the cost of works and secured around £800,000 worth
of ECO funding towards solid wall insulation. SWI was delivered through the Council’s
Warm and Cozy scheme and the works were carried out by Dyson Energy Services. Through
the scheme, the Council also offered householders a range of additional measures such as
HHCRO funded boilers, loft and cavity wall insulation and referrals to a wide range of
services for support. In total, the Council had over 300 enquiries about SWI but could not
continue the scheme following the announcement of the changes to ECO and the drastic
drop in funding for SWI. However, the London Borough of Hillingdon has now secured
further funding through the Green Deal Communities Funding. With this funding they plan
to follow up on existing enquiries and aim to deliver a further 600 solid wall installations in
the borough.
North West CAN Award Winner
Electricity North West
Collecting Award: Jonathan Collins
Electricity North West are the region’s Electricity Distribution Network Operator. In
January 2014, they took a step into helping their customers who may be suffering from
the effects of fuel poverty. Despite the barriers, Electricity North West developed the
Power Saver Challenge, uniquely combining a carbon-saving, behavioural-change
program with a fuel-poverty program. A pilot scheme directly targeting over 1,000
properties within the Stockport Area, with a 50/50 split between affluent and priority
neighbourhoods, the team are tasked with signing up residents and supporting them
to reduce their electricity consumption over the next winter period. Each household is
a member of a team and, should the team be successful in making a significant
reduction, those signed up will receive a reward, which will comprise of an A-rated
appliance or the resident may choose to donate this into a community project. Each
household registered also receives a range of energy saving gadgets to help them to
save electricity and money.
South East CAN Award Winner
Carol White
Gosport Borough Council
Carol has unstintingly applied herself to formulating schemes and working tirelessly for the
people of Gosport and the wider region but the last year has been particularly busy and
challenging for her. Carol has taken a leading role in the successful Green Deal
Communities bid made by Gosport, Eastleigh, Portsmouth and Southampton, and has
played a major part in shaping that scheme and finding ways to adapt it following
Government policy changes, to maintain its original aim. Carol was instrumental in
ensuring that Gosport was well prepared for this scheme, by identifying properties which
may benefit from such a scheme well before the bid was finalised, thus meaning that
Gosport were “at the front of the queue”, and well prepared, despite being the smallest LA
in Hampshire.
She has also taken a leading role in the acclaimed “Hitting the Cold Spots” scheme which is
run by Hampshire County Council, and was largely modelled on Gosport’s own “Help is on
Hand” scheme, helping to bring warmth to struggling households within Hampshire who
have suffered heating failures and who do not have the resources to resolve them.
South West CAN Award Winners
David Miles & Alison Robinson
The Swindon Safe & Warm scheme used an area-based approach to tackle fuel poverty,
whilst introducing support and advice for vulnerable people at risk of falls or fires in the
Safe & Warm provided one simple point of access into multiple services to make some of
the most vulnerable people warmer and safer in their homes. Integrating a series of
health-focussed campaigns via GP surgeries and pharmacies maximised the reach of this
programme. By the end of 2014, almost 17,000 households had engaged with the
scheme, generating some 37,000 actions. This included installing over £650,000 of
insulation measures and identifying over £2.6 million in unclaimed benefits through its
income maximisation service. One in three households had advice or support to reduce
the risk of a fall, with £27,000 of funding provided for small practical measures,
potentially saving the significantly higher costs to the NHS of fall-related treatment. A
further 3,500 fire safety measures were funded through Safe & Warm.
With the area-based approach completed, the scheme is moving into a new phase of
engagement with public health and increasing partner referrals into the programme.
West Midlands CAN Award Winner
Rachel Jones
Act on Energy
Rachel has worked tirelessly over several years to support local authorities in the West
Midlands, taking on the Regional Chair of West Midlands CAN, supporting 12 sub-regional
local authorities in delivering their obligations under the updated Home Energy Conservation
Act and providing individual support to specific local authorities in planning and organising
their Green Deal and ECO arrangements.
Although Rachel is actually employed by Act on Energy (a local energy saving charity), she has
voluntarily taken on the role of supporting all of the regional LAs through chairmanship of
West Midlands CAN. Many of the LAs in the sub region, to whom she delivers specific support
services, rely heavily on her extensive knowledge of affordable warmth and energy
conservation issues.
During 2012-13, she has directly assisted Worcestershire County Council in building a
successful DECC funding bid and delivering its outcomes. She has also dedicated several days
each week to the Council from an already busy work load, when they failed to recruit a
suitable candidate to manage their Green Deal program. Following on from that, she agreed
to provide increased support to Redditch and Bromsgrove Councils when their Energy
Conservation Officer left.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Dr Brenda Boardman MBE
Brenda is widely viewed as one of the most experienced in her field and was awarded an MBE in
1998 for her work on energy efficiency and received the Energy Institute’s Melchett Medal in the
same year.
Brenda is an Emeritus Fellow at the Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford,
following her retirement in September 2008. She is also a Visiting Professor at the University of
Exeter. At the ECI, Brenda was the former head of the Lower Carbon Futures Team and a CoDirector of the UK Energy Research Team. Her main research focus is on energy efficiency and the
way that energy is used in British homes, particularly by households in fuel poverty.
The “10% definition” of fuel poverty, that a household is fuel poor if it needs to spend more than
10% of its income to maintain an adequate level of heating, was first established by Brenda in
her book entitled Fuel Poverty, first published in 1991.
In November 2007, she wrote Home Truths: a low-carbon strategy to reduce UK housing
emissions by 80% by 2050, for Friends of the Earth and the Co-op Bank, and she published her
second book, Fixing Fuel Poverty - challenges and solutions, with Earthscan, in early 2010.
Brenda’s enthusiasm and support for the carbon saving and fuel poverty agenda is second to
none and her understanding and forward thinking is an inspirational to all.
Other Nominees: Colin Anderson, David Colbourne and Janet Rudge