Meet the winners of this year’s Energy Impact Awards

Following a competitive application process, NEA and British Gas have selected the three successful Energy Impact Award winners for 2018. The Energy Impact Awards recognise innovation and best practice amongst agencies running projects that focus on tackling fuel poverty by benefiting vulnerable people in their local area. This year, each project will be provided with £5000 of funding to tackle fuel poverty. Due to the high quality of the applications, the judges awarded a runner up prize of £1000.

We’re delighted to announce that the winners are:

  • Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service in Partnership with Energy Projects Plus.
  • National Union of Students Charitable Services
  • Age UK Lewisham and Southwark
  • Scarf (runner up)
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service in partnership with Energy Projects Plus

Following a push from NHS England to broaden the scope of home visits delivered by the Fire and Rescue Service across the United Kingdom, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) used this as an opportunity for firefighters or other prevention staff to identify vulnerable residents in Cheshire who had an increased risk of fuel poverty and fire in their homes. The Fire and Rescue Service has made a strong partnership with local charity, Energy Projects Plus and the funding will ensure that they are able to respond to the increased number of referrals. The “Safe and Well visits” incorporate traditional fire safety information with questions regarding control of heating, affordability of fuel bills, insulation, tariff and benefit checks with referrals to relevant organisations. During a 15-month period, CFRS carried out 53,896 visits that resulted in 354 referrals to Energy Projects Plus.

National Union of Students Charitable Services

A pilot directed at students and their landlords will provide information workshops and advice sessions regarding how to reduce the risk of living in fuel poverty. The “Green house, Green home” project will address issues from a 2017 survey which found that 42% had been unable to afford their energy bills, 49% had been uncomfortably cold in their accommodation and 49% had turned off the heating due to concerns of cost. Students will be provided with IMEA-approved training to be able to audit landlords’ houses improving their knowledge, encouraging them to be more efficient and becoming more employable during their studies. If the pilot is successful, NUS intend to roll it out to more university towns and cities to get their students’ unions, universities, local authorities, local stakeholders and specialist agencies to work to create robust housing accreditation schemes to drive up housing standards. Prior to the audit, landlords will be supported with information, advice, and guidance through a series of workshops.

Age UK Lewisham and Southwark

“Warm and Well in Winter” is a project that will aim to tackle fuel poverty, isolation and physical health and well-being by undertaking home visits. The home visits will be facilitated by a handyperson who will provide guidance about ways to keep their home warm during winter alongside carrying out jobs that will contribute to their home staying warm i.e. fixing carpets, curtains or doors. The handyperson will also have a conversation with the older person to ascertain if they need referrals for further advice relating to loneliness, their personal health or further support with fuel poverty.


The ‘Energy Champions’ programme consists of Scarf working with a variety of established local agencies and organisations to recruit participants who are at a disadvantage due to having multiple barriers to employment. After a varied training programme of which the participants partake in a personal development course, energy awareness training, work life experience and continued mentoring, the energy champions will provide peer to peer energy efficiency advice in their local communities.

Maria Wardrobe, Director of External Affairs at NEA said: “I’m delighted to award the funding to these brilliant projects who have innovative ideas to tackle fuel poverty within their local areas. I look forward to seeing these projects develop and make a real tangible impact on the lives of vulnerable people across those communities’.

Steve Crabb, Director of Consumer Vulnerability at British Gas said “I congratulate this year’s winners  on their initiatives which are deserved winners in the 2018 Energy Impact Awards  There is a so much great work being done in communities across Britain to help people save energy and end the scourge of fuel poverty. We had some excellent application’s this year from across the country and that’s what these awards are all about, and that’s why British Gas is so proud to be involved with them and committed to working with NEA.”


Editor’s notes.

  • NEA is the UK’s leading fuel poverty charity campaigning for affordable warmth in the homes of vulnerable people. For further details visit
  • British Gas is Britain’s leading energy supplier, and serves around 11 million homes in Britain – nearly half the country’s homes – as well as providing energy to around half a million British businesses. British Gas provides value for money, dedicated customer service, innovative energy solutions and the highest quality Homes Services expertise in the country. Find out more at
  • Energy Projects Plus work to advance the education of the public about energy efficiency and other environmental initiatives, including the alleviation of fuel poverty and the minimisation of waste produced by electricity generating stations through the promotion of energy efficiency.
  • NUS is a confederation of Students’ Unions across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. NUS has a sustainability team who work across campuses, curriculums and communities. More information on NUS’s sustainability unit can be found at
  • Age Lewisham & Southwark is always working to improve later life for many older people who face common challenges with care, illness, isolation and finance.


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