Energy Champions Training Success
We sometimes get questions about how people can get involved in our work. At Low Carbon Hub we know that community members themselves are in the best place to be a catalyst for change within their local community. That’s why we have our Energy Champions – these individuals play a vital role in disseminating knowledge and fostering sustainable practices within their communities.
In our recent training session, we welcomed nine new Energy Champions, further expanding our network across Oxfordshire. This came after our first energy champion training day success in November 2022, and we’re thrilled to see the program continue to grow.
Who are our Energy Champions?
The training was designed primarily for people who are already involved in some way in a low carbon, environment, or climate change group – whether as a volunteer or in a paid capacity. This is so that Champions can hit the ground running, and build upon their existing networks.
It was a fantastic day facilitated by Low Carbon Hub’s Social Impact Director Saskya Huggins, and Chris Church, lead trainer for Talk Action Training. Chris is an advisor to Community Energy South, a trustee of the Westmill Sustainable Energy Trust and has also led work for the London Voluntary Services Commission on fuel poverty and energy.
The focus of the day was to explore the role of an Energy Champion working within the community to provide advice and support to those that may be struggling in this current energy crisis.
Participants were introduced to existing energy resources and materials, worked on honing their ability to engage in meaningful conversations about energy with others, and expanding their knowledge of actionable steps individuals can take to mitigate energy costs.
The training provided participants with the opportunity to:
- Gain an understanding of the basic knowledge needed to give people advice on how to afford their energy costs.
- Explore how we can talk with, and listen to, people about their energy and fuel bill concerns and those experiencing financial difficulties; signpost appropriate sources of advice; provide clear advice on simple short-term and longer-term energy saving measures, using existing advice materials; and discuss climate change issues and how these relate our energy use.
- Learn about existing resources and materials available from both Low Carbon Hub and other reputable sources to help people reduce their energy use, bills and carbon footprint over both short and longer terms.
- Begin to feel confident in running a community advice stall.
We covered a range of resources, ranging from simple tips and advice for reducing energy use and staying warm this winter, to more comprehensive retrofit options available.
We talked through all of the resources available, including support on running advice stalls, and connecting to expert organisations who provide tailored support depending on the circumstances of each individual. We were joined by some of our existing Energy Champions who shared their experiences and passed on invaluable tips for running an energy advice stall.
We’ve updated some of our resources, including the Warmer Winter Checklist, and developed a new advice resource, the Low Cost No Cost leaflet. We also have a great new ‘flow diagram’ from Oxford City Council, to help make it easier to navigate the network of grants currently available for home energy improvements.
If you have an upcoming event that you think would benefit from the presence of our energy champions and their informative stalls, please don’t hesitate to reach out.