Mike Thornton, chief executive
The first thing to say when reflecting on where we are today is that the climate emergency – the fundamental driver of our mission at Energy Saving Trust – hasn’t gone away. What is new is an additional energy price crisis that brings into sharp focus crucial questions about the energy we use, where we get it from, and how much it costs.
Energy Saving Trust has always been about helping people save money by saving energy and cutting carbon. At this critical moment we see an important opportunity for both country and people to address the climate emergency, to enjoy improved energy security by cutting our reliance on fossil fuels, and to reduce fuel bills by intensifying the switch to sustainable energy with energy efficiency.
As part of this opportunity, we have to accept that the social dimension of what we do is expanding. Energy Saving Trust has long been at the forefront of the fight against fuel poverty. If the price rises high enough, however, everyone is fuel poor. That’s the unfortunate truth about where we stand today.
Looking ahead, we expect to see increasing interest in our agenda and a growing requirement for the work we do, especially the support we offer for householders, as the number of people turning to us for help with their energy bills is rising steeply and this can only continue as energy prices keep rising.
To meet the challenges ahead we must do more of what we already do. Our work to expand and accelerate electric vehicle uptake, for example, has received a massive boost thanks to a successful bid for the Department for Transport’s Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) chargepoint scheme, worth up to £400m. It’s a recognition of our track record of success in delivery.
In a shifting landscape we’re also serving new audiences and using all channels to reach them. Our fast-growing digital offerings allow us to reach more people at scale whilst the new Business Energy Scotland service recognises the fact that rising fuel bills now pose an existential threat to many small businesses.
Against this backdrop our own can-do, mission-led culture enables us to respond flexibly to rapidly changing circumstances and we will continue to invest in our people and teams to make sure this continues.
The value of the sustainable energy we champion is now underpinned by interlocking factors – the climate emergency, energy security, and price volatility. This alignment presents an opportunity and a challenge to Energy Saving Trust: we will seize the opportunity and rise to the challenge.