2016 Ashden UK Award winners

A street of houses in Revoe, Blackpool, that have opted to have external wall insulation through the Cosy Homes in Lancashire scheme – all except one!


Ashden Award for Sustainable Homes, supported by the Berkeley Group

A group of 14 local authorities make up the Cosy Homes in Lancashire (CHiL) energy improvement scheme. From external wall insulation to new boilers, CHiL is addressing fuel poverty in the region and has assisted more than 7,000 households to date, focusing on the oldest properties in the most deprived areas. This is a rare example of a local authority contracting directly with energy companies to deliver the full range of energy efficiency measures.

A unique concept driven by Public Health and Energy Officers joining forces, CHiL’s major achievement has been to get all 14 local authorities and Lancashire County Council working together to subsidise energy efficiency measures for the most vulnerable households.

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Kew Gardens are working with GLA's RE:FIT scheme on retrofitting historic buildings like the Temperate House

Greater London Authority

Ashden Award for Sustainable Buildings, supported by the Garfield Weston Foundation

RE:FIT is the Mayor of London’s innovative scheme to help public sector organisations deliver ‘spend to save’ environmental retrofit projects that improve their estates and reduce carbon emissions by making substantial guaranteed energy and financial savings.

RE:FIT provides expert advice and a framework that simplifies procurement and guarantees energy savings. This tried and tested approach is now supporting energy saving works to over 600 public sector buildings in London, including NHS and central government departments, museums and education organisations. Once the retrofits are complete, the resulting CO₂ saving will be at least 30,000 tonnes each year and save the client organisations £7.1 million annually.

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Low Carbon Hub sets out their vision for community-owned, renewable energy in Oxfordshire in their Community Energy Manifesto

Low Carbon Hub

Ashden Award for Sustainable Communities, supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation (joint winner)

A social enterprise championing community energy in Oxfordshire, Low Carbon Hub works with communities, schools and businesses to scale up renewable energy generation and put local power in the hands of local people. Projects include solar panels on schools, businesses and community buildings, a micro hydro project on the Thames, and making homes more energy efficient.

Low Carbon Hub has an extremely compelling vision for the rivers and rooftops of Oxfordshire to be the power stations of the future, delivering economic, social and environmental benefits for residents. Their surplus, in the form of community benefit funds, is ploughed back into local sustainable energy initiatives that are reducing carbon emissions in the county. Win win!

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Open Energi's cutting edge software helps large energy users like United Utilities manage energy-hungry equipment

Open Energi

Impax Ashden Award for Energy Innovation

To keep the lights on, National Grid has to keep electricity demand and supply exactly in balance, and when faults occur a rapid response is needed – within two seconds! Traditionally this was provided by gas and coal power plants running below full power, so they can adjust output quickly, but this is inefficient, expensive and increases CO2 emissions. Open Energi has developed an alternative – cutting-edge software which can automatically switch energy-hungry equipment on or off when required, without disrupting business operations.

Large energy users like water companies identify which items of equipment are not time-sensitive in their operation and this equipment can then increase or decrease its consumption within agreed parameters to provide a rapid response service to National Grid.

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Repowering provides mentoring opportunities in the renewable energy sector for young people in inner city London

Repowering London

Ashden Award for Sustainable Communities, supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation (joint winner)

Repowering London deliver community-owned renewable power stations on social housing blocks and community buildings, alongside social works programmes. Solar PV arrays on estates in inner-city areas like Hackney and Brixton are generating valuable community funds, and the holistic approach means that fuel poverty and employment and mentoring opportunities for young people and local residents are simultaneously being provided.

Started by a group of volunteers, Repowering London is now a Community Benefit Society with a very powerful vision, working in partnership with Local Authorities and community groups to deliver local solutions to local energy problems. A collaborative approach ensures that the interests of the community are at the heart of any project, and its residents are included in every step of the way.

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Tempus Energy hopes to change the way the world buys and uses electricity using smart equipment.

Tempus Energy

Ashden Award for Smart Energy

This innovative energy supplier aims to change the way the world buys and uses electricity, using advanced technology to connect customers with the cheapest available energy prices. Tempus Energy uses smart equipment to automatically shift its customers' non-time critical electricity consumption out of expensive peak periods and into off-peak periods when prices are lower, often when renewable generation is plentiful.

This market-based business model helps integrate cheap but variable renewable electricity supply into the grid by better matching it with flexible demand. By helping customers reduce electricity use during peak periods, Tempus can cut their tariff by up to 20%, and reduce the need for carbon-intensive generators as well as the strain on electricity networks.

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