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Blog Post 31 December 2020

Five things we’ve achieved in 2020 at Energy Saving Trust

The year 2020 has been one of challenge and change. The new year began amid reports of a novel Coronavirus spreading rapidly throughout China, and by the end of January, France reported the first cases in Europe.

On 23 March, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced unprecedented restrictions across the UK, and life in lockdown became the new normal. We swapped the daily commute for working at home, visits to the pub became Zoom quizzes, and we came to realise how much we took the NHS for granted.

It’s been a year full of challenges, but that hasn’t stopped us in our mission to address the climate emergency. Here, we take a look at some of Energy Saving Trust’s greatest achievements in 2020, as we continue our work to deliver a sustainable future.

Reaching those at risk of fuel poverty

The Warmer Homes Scotland campaign was designed to promote the funding package from Scottish Government, which delivers free heating insulation and more to eligible households in Scotland. The Home Energy Scotland service has stayed open throughout the pandemic, shifting from office-based call centres to home-based working without any disruption to customers.

Call volumes were low during the first lockdown and the number of referrals to the Warmer Homes Scotland scheme also went down. In August, we launched a targeted campaign to generate leads for the advice centres and drive inbound enquiries to increase referrals to Warmer Homes Scotland. We also wanted to increase traffic to the newly launched Home Energy Scotland website and reach a large number of households in or at risk of fuel poverty.

Overcoming Covid-19 challenges in Wales

Despite challenges faced by Covid-19, the Welsh Government Warm Homes Nest scheme has continued to support residents across Wales this year. During the 2019-20 programme year, the Nest scheme provided 15,823 households with free, impartial advice and signposting to a range of support services. More than 4,500 of the 15,823 households helped during this year had their homes improved with a package of free home energy efficiency measures, such as a central heating system, a boiler or insulation.

Supporting communities through CARES

Energy Saving Trust is a partner in Local Energy Scotland, the consortium that manages the Scottish Government’s Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES). The scheme holds regular funding rounds to raise funds to develop projects and install renewable energy generation, such as solar panels on a community owned building, or support local energy projects working towards Scotland’s net zero ambition.

In this round, up to £4.5 million was made available to support communities, public sector organisations and rural businesses looking to make long-term environmental changes and play a part in the green recovery post-Covid.

Efficiency for Access Design Challenge’s Grand Final

As part of Energy Saving Trust’s work on the LEIA programme, we deliver the Efficiency for Access Design Challenge, a global, multi-disciplinary competition that empowers teams of university students to help accelerate clean energy access. It is funded by UK Aid and the IKEA Foundation.

The Efficiency for Access Design Challenge invited teams of university students to design affordable and energy efficient appliances and technologies for low to middle income countries. By bringing together and inspiring university students, the Efficiency for Access Design Challenge’s goal was to foster innovation in the off-grid appliances sector. The competition also sought to address barriers limiting market expansion in this area.

A total of 78 students participated in the competition’s inaugural year, with teams from nine universities across Bangladesh, Kenya, Uganda and the UK. Students submitted their projects in April 2020.

Delivering a ‘world-class’ service

Three transport programmes delivered in Scotland were recognised earlier this year as ‘world-class’ by the Net Promoter Score (NPS) index. The NPS index measures customers’ likelihood to recommend a company, product or service to others and ranges from -100 to 100, where scores higher than 70 are considered as ‘world-class’.

The three transport programmes are: domestic charge point funding (NPS: 82), Electric Vehicle Loan (NPS: 83) and eBike Loan (NPS: 74).

These excellent scores are evidence of the transport team’s success in putting the customer first and continuing to deliver exceptional customer experience and satisfaction during Covid-19.

A customer who received eBike Loan funding gave positive feedback about the support offered throughout the application process:

“My experience was very positive in this application. The people I spoke with were very helpful and able to answer my queries at the first point of contact. The application was easy to complete, and the approval and receipt of funding was very quick. I feel that, given the current circumstances and challenges around Covid-19, the overall experience could not have been improved.”

Just one more...

New research by Halifax revealed that, with the sudden changes in lifestyle due to the Coronavirus lockdown, a lot of people weren’t sure where to start when it came to home energy efficiency. We partnered with Halifax to develop a bespoke home energy efficiency web tool.

Read our case study