Energy Champion Resources

We have complied a set of resources to help Energy Champions deliver the best service to their communities.

General Energy Advice

Information on Common Scams

How To Spot An Energy Scam

  • Scammers usually cold call at your door, via the post or on the  phone. 
  • Be aware of scammers via email, text and online popup links. 
  • They may say they are Ofgem, our national energy regulator. Ofgem don’t sell energy or any other service, will never ask you for personal information or knock on your front door. 
  • Scammers may say they can get you government support or a rebate to get your bank account details.  Never give your bank account details to anyone you do not trust. 
  • They could alarm you by saying that some aspect of your home is unsafe and requires immediate attention and money in order to keep you from harm. 
  • They can pose as installers of energy saving measures for your home such as solar PV panels and insulation and may say they have already worked on your house in the past as part of previous government backed schemes. 

How To Avoid Being Scammed 

  • Get a minimum of 3 quotations for any work and a contract to read in your own time before you sign and pay over any money. 
  • Research and ask questions. A certified, qualified installer should have no problem with you asking and should provide clear, open answers. 
  • Don’t be pressured by time limited offers. 
  • Always ask your family, neighbours and friends for recommendations. 
  • If you’re not sure about anything, ask a local community energy advice service for impartial, free advice. 

Common Scams Connected To Homes & Energy 

  • *Free or very highly discounted, grant supported energy saving measures for your home. 
  • *Financial rebates and refunds from the government. 
  • Remember – if it sounds “too good to be true” it is generally “too good to be true”. 
  • You may be told that the discounts relate to: 
    • Solar Panels & Batteries (Electricity generation & storage)  
    • Insulation (lofts & walls etc.) 
    • Heating  (Heat pumps, biomass etc.) 
  • If you decide to have energy saving items installed, you should obtain 3 quotes.   
  • If you are installing a heat pump or solar PV then you should check that the company is  part of a deposit guarantee service such as RECC (Renewable Energy Consumer Code)  
  • Is the company an MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) registered installer for heat pumps and solar PV panels? 
  • If you’re not sure about anything, ask a local community energy advice service for impartial, free advice. 
Information on Smart Meters

Installing a Smart Meter 

Smart meters are next-generation gas and electricity meters. You get one meter for gas and one for electricity – they’ll usually replace your existing meters.  In addition, you get a separate, easy to access in-home display.  As well as being available at no upfront cost, they offer a number of benefits over traditional meters. 

The first type of smart meters were called SMETS 1- no longer being installed as more up to date SMETS 2 meters are now being fitted.  With SMETS 2 meters, when you switch, your new supplier should be able to see your usage and meter readings, and your in-home display should show you your usage with the new supplier’s costs.  SMETS 2 smart meters do not rely on a mobile phone signal. 

Your gas or electricity utility company can arrange to have a smart meter installed in your home free of charge. 

Having a Smart meters means you get the following benefits: 

  • You have real time information on your energy use, allowing you to better manage your usage, so you can save money and reduce emissions. 
  • No need for anyone to read your meter, the smart meter sends your readings automatically.  
  • You receive accurate electricity and gas bills – you will only be billed for the energy you use. 
  • Your electricity network provider (probably UK Power Networks in the South-East of England) will automatically know if your power goes off. 
  • Your electricity network provider (probably UK Power Networks in the South-East of England) can check if your power is working without having to visit your home – and sometimes even resolve the issue over the phone 
  • You will get the right help more quickly during a power cut. 

If you are on a smart prepayment meter, some suppliers such as EDF, allow you to set up auto top-ups which automatically adds credit to your meter every time your balance drops below a certain amount (which you choose). Others such as Octopus, let you opt in to receive a text alert when your meter’s credit balance reaches a certain amount, so that you can top up and ensure your supply remains connected. 

More information here Get a smart meter – Find your supplier | Smart Energy GB (www.smartenergygb.org) and to find out your utility company’s plans. 

Retrofit Advice

Guidance on initiating retrofit advice

From the Centre for Sustainable Energy’s Community Retrofit Guide.

A few things to consider that make the first conversation you have with someone about retrofit an engaging and useful one.

The following questions are intended as a prompt to encourage the householder to think about the answers for themselves – you won’t always be able to provide an answer, and in some cases, it would be inadvisable to attempt to do so.

  • How do they find their house? Is it warm? Is it draughty?
  • What is their property type and location? What is the heritage, is it protected, is it rural or urban, detached or terraced, etc?
  • Who lives in the property? Number of occupants, pets, how long are they planning to stay?
  • What are they hoping to achieve through retrofit – what are their priorities? Do they want to: Reduce bills? Reduce environmental impact? Improve air quality or comfort? Modernise the home? Tackle damp and condensation or specific problem areas?

Each of these may result in different strategies or solutions for their property.

  • Do they have a budget in mind? Do they have savings they could invest on projects with a reasonable payback period (e.g. solar pv)? Might they have access to funding soon, for example, a lump sum payment upon retirement?
  • What works would they consider – have they given any thought to this? What is their tolerable level of disruption and aesthetic change, constraints on timescale, ability to install measures themselves?
  • Might they be eligible for any grant funded energy efficiency works? See here for more on grant funding.
  • Are there any structural issues, damp or mould, or other repair works needed such as leaks, woodwork, guttering repairs?
  • Is there effective ventilation? This may need to be upgraded if the insulation or airtightness is being improved.
  • What sort of heating do they have and how old is it – when will it be due for replacement?
  • Do they already have any renewable technologies? How would any new measures work with this?
Grant Funding Guide

Understanding the grants available for householders (these are also listed in the Fairer Warmth tool when applicable to areas).

Fairer Warmth Tool

Fairer Warmth is an online tool that helps householders reduce your energy bills and create a warmer, more energy efficient home. Download a leaflet for householders below.

[link to Fairer Warmth page on CES website – to be built by CEE]

CommuniPower Consumer Details Form Template

The document below can be used for each consumer advice session if you are offline or unable to access the LEAD monitoring template. Please complete as much as you can. This information helps with understanding people’s needs and motivations. It also helps us to secure more funding to grow the community energy sector advice work.

Events and Energy Desks

Event Planning Template

Energy champions planning an energy advice stall or community event should use the following template:

Risk Assessment Template

If you are running an activity as an Energy Champion, you must complete a risk assessment. Depending on the requirements of the venue, you may need to submit it to the venue, but we also need a copy submitted to your Coordinator.

Champion Role and Career Development

Energy Champion Job Description
Energy Training for Organisations
Retrofit Training

AN INTRODUCTION TO RETROFIT 101 – FREE COURSE

LEVEL 2 in External Wall Insulation and Finishes

LEVEL 2 in Understanding Domestic Retrofit

Train to be a Retrofit Advisor (Level 3)

Train to be a Retrofit Assessor (Level 4)

Train to be a Retrofit Coordinator (Level 5)

Heat Geek Learn subscription – Rolling monthly access grants you access to all Heat Geek courses.

Marketing and design

Project logos