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Improving the nation’s energy literacy with 10 ‘Big Ideas’

The National Energy Foundation (NEF) has launched a programme of 10 ‘Big Ideas’ in a bid 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.

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, and provided 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. Whilst many of the projects centred on domestic energy, a number of the ‘Big Ideas’ gear themselves towards business participation including;

  • 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.

The recently-commissioned national energy survey revealed that that the majority of people feel they are not well informed about energy at work, with only 11 per cent claiming to know how much energy is used in their workplace. Around three-quarters also thought that companies, schools and the government should provide more energy training and education.

Mashford 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.”

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