When I reflect on an unprecedented year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the thing I’m most proud of is that we truly supported and empowered our people. Across Energy Saving Trust we saw everyone pull together, in order to continue to help others live their lives in a more sustainable way. And in spite of everything, we maintained our impact on carbon reduction.
But we cannot afford to let up. There are reports today of emission cuts being achieved, but that is because the world stopped turning for a little while due to Covid-19. As we build back better, we must take with us the lessons of the past year in terms of how we work, how we travel, how we live. If we are to do one thing to achieve our objectives and deliver our mission, we must make it easier and cheaper for consumers to take up new technologies. That means helping people understand how to use zero carbon heating systems like heat pumps and it also means easy, simple to access loan and grant schemes to help people change.
All our work is so much easier if there is unity of purpose at a global level and so our hopes and expectations are high for COP26 in Glasgow in November. At Energy Saving Trust our ambition is to become more internationalist. We want to form stronger alliances with governments, businesses and NGOs to grow the low carbon economy worldwide. Now is the right time to share our experience more widely in order to achieve maximum impact. By thinking globally, we bolster our credentials at home and we will also learn from others.
Regardless of where or how we operate, we cannot lose sight of our role in touching people’s lives. When we help households cut their energy use, we do more than that. We don’t just make a home warmer or cooler – we remove some of the financial stresses of everyday life. And which child doesn’t feel better going to school on a full stomach, or with clean clothes, or after a good night’s sleep? Changing to net zero is changing for the better and that is what keeps us working to achieve it.
Neil Sachdev, chair of the Energy Saving Trust board