Training unemployed people as energy advisors to combat fuel poverty and help job creation
A number of training and work experience placements were offered to job-seekers through the local Job Centre. A guaranteed interview was then offer at the end of the work experience placement. The training was aimed at people who had no previous experience in working in the energy sector or in energy advice.
Home visits were offered to vulnerable clients in the Trowbridge area of Wiltshire; these were carried out by the new trained energy advisors. Each client received two visits which produce a broad range of recommendations for clients, with the aim of saving households an average of 10%.
Visit 1: Assessed in detail the clients energy and water consumption in the home and will lasted around 2 hours.
Visit 2: The advisor then visited a second time to give the client a written report showing where and how the client could reduce their energy use. The advisor explained the information in the report, and answered any questions the clients had. The advisor also fitted free energy saving devices where appropriate and giving you tips on small changes in behaviour that will help you save even more money.
Newly trained energy advisors required a lot of support from supervisors; this should be allowed for in time allocations
Evidence of success
o Number of households engaged in support programmes: 136
o 136 home visits were carried out. From these a total of £6062.81 per year was saved from customers’ bills, averaging £44.58 per household. This equates to 19374.93 kg of CO2 saved per year, averaging 142.46 kg of CO2 per household.
o Nine advisors were recruited and trained during the project.
Potential for learning or transfer
Generating interest in visits can take a significant amount of time. It would therefore be beneficial to conduct the project in an area where existing relationships with potential clients and stakeholders are held. It is important to consider whether the newly trained advisors can drive/have access to a car or use reliable and accessible public transport.
Consider the ability of the recruits and their confidence to do the job. It is important to provide day to day mentoring and support.