Innovative New Scheme to Help University Staff Reduce Their Home Energy Use
An initiative funded by TEC and AUDE (the Association of University Directors of Estates) aims to assist University staff in reducing their household energy consumption.
The innovative scheme will train students to carry out energy audits at the homes of University staff throughout the Country and has been coordinated by the University of Worcester.
Since July 2021, Students organising for Sustainability UK (SOS-UK) has been running Homes Fit for Study (HFFS), a project which aims to improve the energy literacy of students, helping alleviate their exposure to energy poverty.
The program is now being extended to include training for students to conduct home energy audits for University staff in the UK who may be facing energy-related challenges.
Under the scheme, staff would register to have their home audited by a trained student, who will receive a bursary payment, and then be provided with tailored energy saving advice. Staff can register their interest online. As part of the scheme, Worcester Bosch will review the staff member’s boiler set points and controls and can offer technical advice about how to maximise use while reducing energy consumption. All boiler makes are welcome.
SOS-UK has worked with National Energy Action (NEA) to develop the auditor training and home energy audits and all auditor training sessions are co-delivered by NEA.
The University of Worcester suggested this pilot following the success of its Energize Worcester project, which, working in partnership with Worcester Students’ Union and Worcester Bosch, looked at boiler use in student properties and implemented behaviour change.
Katy Boom, Director of Sustainability at the University of Worcester, said: “We are delighted the university sector has seen the value in this innovative project that will partner students and staff to help reduce energy usage. This is an excellent way for students to learn more about energy, while getting paid to provide valuable advice to staff. It’s a win-win all round.”
Steve Creighton, Head of Member Services at TEC, said: “Behavioural change is a key component to the lengths we all need to go to in supporting the road to ‘Net Zero’, this initiative will provide valuable support in helping staff and students to reduce their energy costs whilst broadening awareness of the changes we all need to make.”
Jane White, Executive Director at AUDE, added: “The greater the level of understanding and interest in issues around climate change and energy use that our staff and students show, the better equipped we will all be to make the right long-term choices for all of us. It’s in that spirit, of knowledge sharing, that AUDE is so very pleased to provide development funding for this initiative. We wish all involved well and will be very interested to hear how this project develops.”