Empowered by Energy

National Energy Action (NEA)

Empowering refugees to understand the UK’s energy system and save money

Our project at a glance

  • Priority need group: Excluded groups
  • Strategic priority area: Supporting priority vulnerability groups
  • Support target: 96 to 120 households over three years
  • Duration: July 2021 to April 2024
  • Investment: £36,672.75
  • Forecast SROI: £5.50

It was three weeks of information that I could never have imagined exist. It was very exciting as I now know where to go to or what to do should I have issues with my energy supply. Thank you.

Empowered by Energy participant

Why we’re working together

For people coming to Britain as asylum seekers or refugees, life is exceptionally challenging. Across the UK, refugees are disproportionately represented in unemployment statistics and they live in much of the poorest housing stock. These two factors alone result in a high risk of fuel poverty.

In addition, many asylum seeker and refugee communities face specific language difficulties and cultural factors which make them less likely to engage with energy efficiency advice and assistance.

By partnering with National Energy Action to engage third-party organisations such as Tamil Women’s Group, Migrant Help UK and the Scottish Refugee Council, we’re able to provide practical support to asylum seeker and refugee communities nationwide.

We’re also collaborating with Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) on this programme, which enables us to blend funding to provide in-depth energy efficiency and safeguarding support for this often-marginalised group.

Through face-to-face and online workshops, we’re building a self-sustaining support network to embed useful life skills and make asylum and refugee communities more resilient.

Project objectives

  • Supporting asylum and refugee communities to achieve safe and warm homes by building energy skills and resilience.
  • Identifying engaged members of the community to become energy champions, sharing knowledge with their friends and peers.
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How we’re working together

Interactive energy advice workshops

We’re holding face-to-face and online energy efficiency workshops for small groups of refugees and asylum seekers. Each group attends three sessions, supported by translators if required. Tailored to the group’s specific needs, the sessions cover topics such as how to prevent condensation and damp, carbon monoxide awareness and understanding energy bills.

Energy efficiency packs

In partnership with SSEN, we’re providing participants with an energy efficiency pack to supplement their learning, demonstrating immediate changes that can be made at home. These packs include energy-efficient products such as radiator foil, LED light bulbs, slow cookers and language-appropriate supporting resources.

Through Empowered by Energy, we have made a difference to people who have little or no experience of the energy markets in England and Scotland. They have gained knowledge which they are eager to share with their friends, families and the broader community. Without our support, they were unaware of how to help themselves and how to reach out for support.

Jo Boswell

Project Development Manager, National Energy Action