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Homes Fit For Study

Alleviating exposure to fuel poverty through audits and energy advice
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NB. This project ran from 2021-2023 and has now ended.

Through latest NUS research we know that students are vulnerable consumers due to a) living in poor quality housing b) lack of experience of the energy market c) low incomes. Through Homes Fit For Study, students’ energy literacy will be improved by targeting action on energy efficiency behaviours, choosing energy efficient properties, improving their home efficiency and thermal comfort, and navigating the energy market. This will support students to be equipped with the knowledge and skills to make informed decisions about properties they rent, and how to reduce their energy costs (without decreasing their overall comfort level), and actively help to alleviate fuel poverty. We are working on this project in collaboration with National Energy Action on this GB-wide project. It is funded by the Energy Industry Voluntary Redress Scheme until 2023.

Aims & activities

The main aims for this project were to provide:

  1. Training for students enabling them to become energy auditors.
  2. Peer-to-peer home energy audits.
  3. Home energy advice to students

Through in-person and online activities, we engaged with thousands of students across the UK sharing energy advice. You can find this on our student-facing website, our YouTube channel and our Instagram profile.

We trained students to become auditors for them to conduct peer-to-peer audits. This training was put together by National Energy Action and SOS-UK who have vast experience in auditor training, fuel poverty, and volunteer management. All students received a CPD certificate of recognition for the skills they gained, improving their future employability. The audits covered: number of occupants, insulation, heating systems and controls such as thermostats, no/low cost measures such as draft exclusion and LED light bulbs, with advice provided on choosing energy efficient properties and selecting tariffs.

Energy Advice

Our energy advice covered:

  • Behaviour change and low/no cost efficiency measures: switching off lights and appliances, washing on low temperatures, shorter showers, filling the kettle with the right amount of water, draught proofing, shutting curtains.
  • Choosing efficient properties: understanding and requesting EPCs, recognising signs of damp when house hunting.
  • Energy bills and tariffs: interpreting and understanding bills, switching suppliers and tariffs, contacting suppliers when problems occur.
  • Thermal comfort: understanding and using heating systems efficiently.
  • Efficient technology: using smart meters, choosing energy efficient goods, LED lighting.
  • Landlord communications: templates for making requests (such as insulation) and resolving issues (such as damp).
  • Tailored and specific advice and guides created for students who are most vulnerable to fuel poverty, including students with caring responsibilities, from low income backgrounds and that have health conditions.

See our resources page for Homes Fit For Study here.