E.ON Community Energy Fit
Partnership working and community engagement to support local needs

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Overview
We’ve developed Community Energy Fit with National Energy Action (NEA), to assist people currently unemployed with increasing their knowledge of energy efficiency and to support them to demonstrate practical energy efficiency skills.
Community Energy Fit offers energy training and volunteering opportunities. It was designed so that participants have the flexibility to choose which direction they take depending on their level of experience, education, confidence, what they want to achieve etc.
Each participant has direct contact with a member of NEA either through training sessions or, if they choose to become an Energy volunteer, they will be assigned a personal mentor.

Impact
We’ve worked with an average of 15 partners per locality to reach vulnerable households.
So far 641 people have received basic energy efficiency training – 102 of these have gone on to achieve City & Guilds qualifications. The impact of this training has meant that volunteers have gained in confidence and attained the skills needed to become attractive to perspective employers.
Stephen Taft, Coventry, undertook numerous energy activities to help his community. He’s volunteered on many occasions and has taken part in a radio interview with BBC Radio Coventry. He s now employed and continues to participate in the programme.

Innovation
The City Council, National Energy Action, Social Housing Providers, CAB, Job Centre Plus etc were engaged to help identify unemployed people to receive energy efficiency training. Once trained, volunteers organised roadshows to deliver energy saving messages to local groups i.e. over 50 s clubs.
This multi-faceted partnership approach is unique; the programme wouldn’t have worked for E.ON alone. Each partner had their own infrastructure to reach unemployed groups. Once engaged, we trained volunteers to City and Guilds standard, mentoring them every step. This training, support and community interaction increased their confidence leading on, in some instances, to securing full-time employment.[/one_half_last]

Insight
Vulnerable customers are hard to reach, there is no one type of fuel poor consumer and cannot be a one size fits all solution. Two challenges:
the identification of fuel poor customers
encouraging them to come forward to access the assistance they are entitled to
The solution – work with local partners who were familiar and trusted by local people. Initially, we engaged with a handful of partners, we learnt that this wasn’t enough to reach people who needed support , we widened our search for additional partners i.e. the Council for Voluntary Service, Action for Children etc.

Inspiration
Our programme operates in partnership with local community groups . These relationships see us making a real difference, helping people make informed energy choices – It’s transformed how we ll approach future community activities.
Rupert Casey – Knowsley Borough Council. The hard work of Community Energy Fit has supported residents of Knowsley with energy efficiency information, volunteering opportunities and employable skills.
Business Benefits include:
Partnership working across 10 cities, which helps and supports our licence to operate
Improved stakeholder engagement
Opportunities to promote the project using local media[/one_half_last]

The Speaker

Suzanne Doxey
Community Relations Manager
E.ON