We can tackle the climate emergency and cold homes at the same time.
We’re a charity supporting people and organisations across the UK to tackle the climate emergency and end the suffering caused by cold homes. We do this by sharing our knowledge, practical experience and policy insights.
For over 40 years, CSE has supported people to take action on energy in their homes. We help communities and local councils to understand energy issues, set priorities, and put plans into action. Our research and analysis focus on making the energy system greener, smarter and fairer.
Ending the suffering caused by cold homes
Our energy advice changes lives, helping improve people’s mental and physical health as well as cutting energy bills and carbon emissions.
No one should suffer a cold home. We help people stay safe and warm. Find out how…
I was in a bad way, but Jo from CSE was fantastic. She helped me through the whole thing and now I have hot water and heating after living without it for over a year – it’s been absolutely life changing. I can’t say how much she helped my lifeFrank called our energy advice line in winter 2022
Compounded by the energy crisis and the cost-of-living crisis, demand for our energy advice line has increased fourfold in the last three years.
Energy advice and support impact 2022-23
Working together to reach net zero
Our community work supports community groups and local authorities to improve their local offerings. This includes raising awareness of energy saving measures, building local net zero plans, developing community action plans and training local energy champions.
Community engagement and action impact 2022-23
Inspiring future generations
At CSE we’re dedicated to building a smarter, greener and fairer future for all. Through our Future Generations programme, we’re focused on educating the next generation of leaders so they can become influential energy activists in their own homes, communities and schools.
Shaping places for sustainable energy
The needs and solutions for net zero vary between places and we’ll only achieve commitment to change through bringing people together and building understanding.
- Our Impact Community Carbon Calculator provides small communities with easy-to-understand data about local carbon emissions. Since its launch, we’ve supported thousands of people and around 300 local councils to take local climate action.
- Our Town and Parish Council Climate Action Days encourage practical action on climate in local communities. We help local councils put climate emergency declarations into action and agree the best activity for their local area. Since launch, we’ve held 14 Climate Action Days, supporting around 500 councillors and clerks across England.
- Our Future Energy Landscapes community engagement approach supports anyone working with communities, in planning or in community energy gain public support and input for local renewable energy plans and policies. So far, we’ve worked with 12 parishes and engaged over 400 people from the community in those parishes.
Scaling up low carbon housing retrofit
Improving home energy efficiency will literally insulate people from future energy price rises, tackling fuel poverty, boosting local economies and supporting new skilled jobs in the building trades.
We’re taking on the tough but crucial challenge to scale up home retrofit services through building the supply chain, supporting self-funded home energy improvements and securing grant funding to tackle energy efficient homes for those on low incomes.
Solving the heat decarbonisation conundrum
Decarbonising UK heating is one of the most challenging pieces in the net zero puzzle. Our data analysts and software engineers build tools to identify the best solutions at building, community and city-levels.
- Our THERMOS tool is revolutionising heat network planning. THERMOS has supported over 3,000 planners across 70 countries to develop their heating and cooling plans, producing results for free in a fraction of the time compared to other technology
- In 2022, we developed new modelling software to support the UK government’s Heat Network Zoning Pilot. Our new model, a unique zoning tool, can quickly and accurately identify heat network zones within individual cities across the UK based on the heat demand characteristics of local buildings and geography.
Policy and awareness raising
CSE works to raise awareness of fuel poverty and new ways to tackle the climate emergency through research, policy advocacy and campaigning. We’ve stimulated national policy change and development in the specific fields of:
- Public consent for action to cut UK emissions.
- Social justice as a key component of the transition to a smarter, decarbonised energy system (Through our Smart and Fair programme).
- Public access to energy sector data, models and tools; guidance from NICE for the health and social care sectors on tackling the health impacts of cold homes
- Area-based targeting of fuel poverty programmes; improved consumer feedback on their energy consumption.
- Better policing of energy suppliers’ so-called ‘social tariffs’ and greater stimulus for energy network companies social programmes.
- New performance targets for local authorities on climate change and fuel poverty.
- Community engagement in sustainable energy developments.
- Our partnership and influencing work with national and local campaigns to address fuel poverty and forums on the cost-of-living crisis. This includes supporting the development of the newly formed Cost-of-Living Alliance; ongoing input into the End Fuel Poverty Coalition and Warm this Winter campaign and representation on Bristol City Council’s winter crisis group.
How we measure our progress
- Beneficiaries – we record and evaluate the number of people we’ve supported through our advice line and work with communities and we record the financial savings for advice line beneficiaries too
- Innovation – we keep track of the new approaches or ways of doing things CSE has developed, introduced or pioneered and the outcomes, or change this helps drive
- Tools – the number of plans, studies, research and tools we build to enable better decision-making
- Policy and learning – we monitor CSE’s input into policy and consultations, research, so that our insights shapes change
Since CSE was founded in 1979 we have:
Provided high-quality, tailored energy advice to more than 380,000 local people to help take control of their energy use at home.
Trained and supported more than 75,000 people to empower them to take action on sustainable energy within their own organisations and communities across the UK.
Reached approximately 56,000 young people with our high-quality education and youth leadership programmes. We help them become influential energy activists in their own homes, communities and schools. You can read more about out history here.
Carbon dioxide emissions
It’s hard to measure CSE’s real impact on carbon dioxide emissions. Our work is mostly about changing policy and enabling others to take action, rather than direct carbon reduction interventions of our own.
But we think that the measures installed as a result of our home energy advice work has led to a reduction in lifetime carbon dioxide emissions of over 3.5m tonnes.