Our vision for the UK is a thriving green economy, bringing jobs and economic regeneration to communities, where we use energy smartly and efficiently to protect us from rising prices and harness renewable energy to secure our future energy needs. We promote the widespread take-up of sustainable energy at the local and national level – renewable energy, energy efficiency and initiatives which promote behaviour change – to reduce our energy use and move closer towards sustainability. By taking concerted action we can also tackle fuel poverty which affects the lives of around 5.5 million, or one in five households in the UK.
Supporting our UK winners
Through the Ashden Awards we bring to light local sustainable energy champions across the country – from a primary school embedding sustainability into its ethos, to a zealous low-carbon community or local council rolling out insulation street-by-street. Once they’ve won an Award, we support our winners in practical ways to achieve even more:
- Mentoring, business and financial support from partners.
- Communications support and media exposure.
- Access to investors and finance.
- Learning from other winners through networking.
Winning an Award propels many of our UK Award winners forward:
The Isle of Eigg is a pioneering low carbon community. Since winning an Award in 2010, we have helped the Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust move from generating 90 percent of the island’s power from renewable energy to nearly 100 percent. Now we’re linking them with our partners Carbon Leapfrog, who provide a mentoring programme giving financial and legal support free of charge. They’ve worked with the Eigg Heritage Trust to identify financing options for making renewable heat affordable to residents. Soon a low interest loan facility will be available to all islanders with loans paid back from their savings on diesel.
Transitions Streets helps neighbours in Totnes work together to save carbon. After winning the 2011 Ashden Award, we helped the initiative expand their group buying scheme for PV. The scheme targets all residents in Totnes and is significantly reducing the cost of installations as well as making solar PV affordable to low income families in fuel poverty. We have helped Transition Streets promote their work more widely by supplying media support to produce high-quality films. We’re providing a grant for the evaluation of Transition Streets so that other organisations can learn from their success.