What makes a sustainability leader? Meet energy management champions YES Energy Solutions

The award was presented at a glittering ceremony in London in March, with Chris Packham (R) as host

Five organisations were shortlisted for edie’s Energy Management Project of the Year Award for the 2022 Sustainability Leaders Awards: YES Energy Solutions, Aviva, UK Power Networks, Dialight and Powerstar.

YES Energy Solutions ultimately took the crown for its work with North Yorkshire County Council to install 100 gas central heating systems in private tenure across three Local Authority areas, and to also improve insulation in these regions.

Click here for more information on the edie Awards 2023. 

The group’s central mission is to reduce fuel poverty and carbon emissions. Gas central heating is 3-4 times more efficient than electric heating, directly helping the most vulnerable out of the “heat or eat” scenario.

The business, working alongside Northern Gas Networks, used gas network mapping – cross-referenced with fuel poverty data and Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) – to identify households that needed help. This information was used to help build a direct marketing campaign and strategy to bring about maximum benefits for the most vulnerable.

Using a blended funding strategy, YES ensured properties receiving central heating were insulated, to maximise fuel bill savings and carbon reduction. The North Yorkshire Warm Homes Fund project’s primary objective was to reduce fuel poverty in North Yorkshire, from 12.4% of all households. The scheme aimed to reduce excess winter deaths and increase thermal comfort, all while reducing household carbon emissions.

One hundred A-rated central heating installs were completed across North Yorkshire ahead of a cold winter (2021-22) in which the Covid pandemic ran rife through communities, threatening the health of the most vulnerable in society.

Residents in the scheme have also been referred to partner organisations to install the latest technological products that help manage and reduce energy usage, including the Chimella – a draft-blocking device from Gemserv. Plus, YES’s advisers gave residents relevant information on how smart meters could help in their circumstances.

By the time the Sustainability Leaders Awards 2022 winners were announced, the scheme had saved £L1.6m on the lifetime fuel bills for residents taking part – this is two-and-a-half times the L700,000 amount of funding that was sourced for the scheme.

Feedback from householders in the scheme was overwhelmingly positive. When asked how satisfied they were with the work carried out overall during the customer satisfaction survey, residents scored the service 8.3/10. Due to initial success and strong take up from residents, the scheme received more funding to install 200 systems by March 2022.

The scheme has also strengthened the synergy between the four district councils and wider health and wellbeing services – such as Citizens Advice and the White Rose Home Improvement Agency. It has also influenced other organisations to review their fuel poverty objectives. For example, Richmondshire Borough Council has since refined its approach to domestic energy efficiency having seen the impact of the scheme. This has led to smaller schemes coming into fruition, managed by YES on behalf of the local authorities, to provide the benefits of funded energy efficiency measures to dozens more disadvantaged households throughout the region.

edie’s Judges said: “The judges were highly impressed with this scheme which provides central heating and insulation for vulnerable residents, really targeting those in need. With innovative funding resources and strong referral partners, the pilot was doubled and has delivered impressive fuel bill reductions for residents.”

Are you our next winner?

Now in its 16th year, the world’s largest sustainable business awards scheme – formerly known as the Sustainability Leaders Awards – continues to champion bold and brilliant climate leadership. From the most ambitious net-zero carbon programmes through to cutting-edge green innovations; from impactful climate partnerships and social sustainability initiatives to the heroes on the ground who are driving positive change.

The edie Awards are hosted during our flagship Business Leadership Month, offering a unique opportunity to have your sustainability achievements recognised and admired by thousands of businesses and climate experts. Winning an edie Award empowers teams, inspires stakeholders and accelerates sustainable business growth.

Entries for the awards are NOW OPEN and the deadline for entries is 14 October. The winners will then be revealed at a ceremony in London on 30 March 2023. Click here for full details and to enter. 


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