Rising energy costs are affecting everyone right now but support is available in Torbay – and you could be part of the solution with a new volunteer Community Energy Champion scheme, which has ten funded places available.

We are committed to helping local people with their energy costs as well as doing everything possible to reduce carbon emissions and have teamed up with Exeter Community Energy for the project.

Tara Bowers, Project Manager at Exeter Community Energy who has joined forces with us said: “Being an Energy Champion volunteer means supporting your friends, neighbours and communities to reduce their energy usage. You will help them become more energy efficient, helping them to save on their energy bills and reduce carbon emissions. There’s also training for frontline workers who meet vulnerable households during their day to day routines.”

Leader of Torbay Council Steve Darling said: “We are pleased to be able to work with Exeter Community Energy to launch this new volunteering scheme for Torbay. Saving energy and making homes more efficient and warm has always been a top priority for us with our work to make Torbay carbon neutral by 2030 in any case, but at this time when the rising cost of living is becoming challenging for so many this project is even more important than ever.

“You can get all sorts of advice and support from Exeter Community Energy - and if you have the time to spare why not put yourself forward for the Community Energy Champion scheme and help other local people as well?”

Mike Morey, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Environment and Culture for Torbay Council, said: “The Energy Champions scheme has already been a great success in other parts of Devon and we are looking to replicate that here in Torbay – we want to recruit ten new Energy Champions before March 2023.

“It will also complement the work we are doing here in Torbay to tackle climate change – from tree planting to flood prevention projects, from making our leisure centres more energy efficient to our plans to install electric charging points in car parks across the Bay.

“You will receive comprehensive training on the subject of household energy, from ECOE’s in-house experts and via accredited courses run by National Energy Action. Training for the volunteer Energy Champions will help those participating gain valuable transferable skills and provide the satisfaction of giving back to your community.”

Pop-up energy advice events

The Healthy Homes for Wellbeing team from Exeter Community Energy (ECOE) are also supporting Torbay residents this winter with free and impartial energy advice, including a series of pop-up events.

Their advisors are present at 5 local venues each month, delivering energy saving advice and support at drop-in clinics. These drop-ins are open to all. Advice on offer includes top tips and advice to help you save money, help with billing or meter issues, referrals for benefits or debt help, and you can also book a free home visit to gain further help and assistance. For information on the drop in sessions visit the Exeter Community Energy website.

Become an Energy Champion

ECOE welcomes applications from people who can commit at least four hours per month to the role. To find out more or to apply, contact Tara Bowers, Project manager at ECOE on healthyhomes@ecoe.org.uk or call 0800 772 3617.

The Healthy Homes team

The Healthy Homes team will also be arranging some pop up events across the Bay, if you have an idea for a pop up event, or would like to invite them to talk to your group or community contact healthyhomes@ecoe.org.uk with your request.

Energy training for frontline workers

There’s also training for frontline workers who meet vulnerable households during their day to day routines. If you or your work colleagues would like some basic training on energy efficiency and fuel poverty in order to help your vulnerable clients, then get in touch with ECOE healthyhomes@ecoe.org.uk 

Torbay’s climate work

You can find out more about the work we are doing with local partners to address climate change.

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