Guest post by Karen Lawrence – Director of Delivery, Energy Saving Trust
As Director of Delivery at the Energy Saving Trust my focus is on ensuring that we provide individuals and organisations with the practical advice and information they need to help them save energy, money and reduce their carbon footprint.
An endorsement of this ‘delivery’ based approach was evident when I learnt recently that we had won the Low Carbon Employee Engagement and the Best Transferable Business Practice Awards at the annual West Midland Low Economy Awards.
The event funded by Business in the Community and although the Prince of Wales wasn’t physically present, he is president of the organisation which presented us with the two awards for a project we organised with the Environment Agency.
Judges were impressed by our partnership with the Environment Agency to encourage their staff at centres in Shrewsbury, Solihull and Lichfield to reduce energy waste at home and work.
Between us we organised events such as our popular smarter driving sessions, which can help drivers reduce their fuel consumption by around 15% or £250 a year.
We also hosted a number of roadshows at the three Environment Agency sites focusing on home energy efficiency, insulation, renewable electricity and heat generation and greener travel options.
50 home energy doctor visits were offered and staff were provided with 100 real time display monitors so they could track how much energy their households were using at any moment and make changes that show immediate savings.
The staff were impressed by what they discovered during the course of the activities and we drove home the key message that loft and cavity wall insulation should top everyone’s to-do list.
The project also threw up alternative transport suggestions following an in-depth transport audit. Staff were advised to walk or cycle for short journeys as the first five miles of every journey use more fuel when the engine is cold. Other suggestions included car sharing, using public transport, signing up to a cycle to work scheme which sees employees able to buy tax free bikes, working from home and adopting smarter driving techniques.
And not only did we win these two fantastic awards but one of our green communities in Snitterfield in Warwickshire also left with a prize – the Low Carbon Communities Award, for a scheme we had run with them encouraging residents to use real time display monitors to measure their energy consumption.
It was a fantastic night all round and wonderful to have recognition – and from people in such high places – for all that hard work in delivering a project that has delivered tangible, on-the-ground, reductions in energy use and carbon dioxide emissions.
Back row – names from left to right
Rosanna Miller – Local Authority Community support Officer, Energy Saving Trust
Anna Bird – Energy Advisor, Energy Saving Trust
John O Shea – Operations Manager, Energy Saving Trust
Front row – names from left to right
Joanna Clement – Communications Officer, Environment Agency
Lynn Melling, Centre Manager, Energy Saving Trust
Gretchen Moeser – Principal Environment Planning Officer, Environment Agency
Lynda Guest – Regional Environment Management Advisor, Environment Agency
Ruth Meek – Principal Environment Planning Officer, Environment Agency