Local Energy Advice Demonstrators

New Home Energy Advice Service

The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero is developing a multi-channel Home Energy Advice Service for the public. This is to provide consumers with advice and information on the physical measures they can take to make their homes warmer, greener, and cheaper to heat.

The Home Energy Advice Service comprises three elements. Already launched are a new energy retrofit advice service via the GOV.UK website to help people better understand how to make energy efficiency improvements to their homes, and a free energy-efficiency phoneline service, which can be reached on 0800 098 7950.

The final step in developing the Home Energy Advice Service is the launch of innovative, local, in-person energy advice services across England. Each of these local services is a pilot project (or demonstrator) to explore the effectiveness of different methods of in-person advice, and better understand the advice requirements of different consumer groups.

Local In-Person Advice Service Pilots

The energy advice service pilots (demonstrators) will run for two years and will offer a community-led approach, which is targeted at:

  • Hard to-treat-buildings – In-person visits can better capture the complexities of these building types, which are harder to address through digital and telephone advice.
  • Hard-to-reach consumers – Local, in-person advice can extend the energy advice service to consumers who may not otherwise be able to access it, such as older people, ethnic minority groups, people with limited internet access or those who experience social exclusion.

The pilots will be evaluated for insights to understand how well they work and whether the ideas could be replicated more widely.

The pilots, which are funded by the Department, have been developed by a variety of organisations and consortia, and were selected via the Local Energy Advice Demonstrator competition. The pilots located in the Greater South East region are administered and supported by the Greater South East Net Zero Hub.

The selected advice service pilots are described below. The pilots are currently preparing to deliver their offering and local promotion of their services will be rolled out soon. If you have any queries, please contact

Overcoming barriers to retrofit in Surrey

PROJECT LEAD: Surrey County Council. FUNDING: £745,100. LOCATION: Surrey. DESCRIPTION: Targeting all Surrey residents, including harder-to-reach consumers and hard-to-treat buildings, the project will aim to overcome a range of barriers to retrofit, including lack of knowledge and access to trusted installers. Free home visits will be provided, with a one-stop-shop approach of supporting consumers throughout the retrofit journey. The Council’s Home Improvement Loan Scheme will be piloted alongside the project.

Creating energy hubs in Essex and Barcombe

PROJECT LEAD: Community Energy South. FUNDING: £941,249. LOCATION: Essex and Barcombe, East Sussex. DESCRIPTION: The project will create clusters of informed communities by connecting the parishes surrounding local market towns and develop an off-gas-grid market. Home action plans will be developed through a database covering both fabric and energy system upgrades.

Free Retrofit Plans for 2000 homes in Beds and Herts

PROJECT LEAD: National Energy Foundation. FUNDING: £551,325. LOCATION: Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire. DESCRIPTION: Around 2000 homes will be provided with free retrofit plans through visits and follow up consultations. Project delivery will be supported by the engagement of local installers.

Outreach to fuel-poor and vulnerable households in Rural Rother

PROJECT LEAD: Citizens Advice 1066. FUNDING: £185,880. LOCATION: Rural Rother district, East Sussex. DESCRIPTION: The project will provide support for fuel-poor and vulnerable households. Energy hubs will be set up in train stations and other community spaces to achieve outreach. Consumers will receive initial advice at the hubs, and can then access a free retrofit assessment, plus a follow-up visit and wider support.

Find out more about the pilot service led by Citizens Advice 1066 in rural Rother

Community-centred engagement in South-East London

PROJECT LEAD: South-East London Community Energy. FUNDING: £1,187,222. LOCATION: Lambeth, Greenwich, Newham and Lewisham. DESCRIPTION: Reaching out to a wide range of hard-to-reach consumers and hard-to-treat homes, the project takes a community-centred approach to engagement, working with two community groups to reach whole neighbourhoods with in-person advice.

New home energy advice team in Basingstoke and Deane

PROJECT LEAD: Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council. FUNDING: £197,085. LOCATION: Basingstoke and Deane, Hampshire. DESCRIPTION: The Council is creating a new team to provide in-person home energy advice and support. Vulnerable householders will be engaged by working with St Michael’s Hospice and Age UK. Hard-to-treat homes will be reached via energy clinics in parish and town councils.

Pilot in-person energy advice services in other regions of England are also being trialled with the support of the Local Net Zero Hubs. Click on the following links to find out more about projects being launched in the Midlands, North East, North West and South West.