Knowledge-share workshop for advice providers

12 December 2019

As part of our 40th anniversary celebrations, on 6 November CSE hosted a free event in Birmingham for organisations like us who deliver impartial home energy advice services at scale.

It was an opportunity for us all to share experiences, learning and views on the current challenges and opportunities – and reflect together on how we continue and improve our energy advice services in future. We deliberately kept the event small - around 40 people - so that all delegates could have their say and participate fully in all sessions.

Ian Preston headed up the workshop. "Over the past decade, the home-energy landscape has changed significantly," he said. "Funding has become hard to come by and there is no consistent local energy advice provision in England. At the same time, demand for our services has never been greater."

Following an introduction from CSE's Janine Michael, the workshop had three sessions (below) and ended with a broad discussion on opportunities and next steps.

Session 1: Advice for fuel poor and vulnerable households
Presentations by: Lisa Evans (CSE, Warmer Homes, Advice & Money); Anees Mank (Oldham Council, Warm Homes Oldham); Jacob Shell (Coventry CAB, Power Up)
Discussion: Case work and partnerships: are we energy advisors or social workers? 

Session 2: Low carbon home energy retrofit 
Presentations by: Kate Watson (CSE, Futureproof); Russell Smith (Parity Projects, Cosy Homes Oxfordshire); Marion Lloyd-Jones (Carbon Coop, People Powered Retrofit)
Discussion: Retrofit advice services: turning words into action?

Session 3: People, skills & standards 
Presentations by: David Pierpoint (Retrofit Academy); Ian Preston (CSE), Julia Green (Energy Inform)
Discussion: What are the current knowledge challenges we face in our advice teams?

"What emerged was a hunger among all the organisations present for more opportunities to share knowledge and exchange ideas," said Ian. "We are committed to organising a similar event in six months time - in Bristol, probably - to keep the momentum going.

"We're very grateful to everyone who came and made the day so stimulating and useful."

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