Sharon O'Connor
Thursday 5th April 2018 - 12:19

My time as the Phoenix Energy Champion

Sharon is a Phoenix leaseholder and has been our Phoenix Energy Champion since November 2017, thanks to a grant from The Department of Business, Energy and
Industrial Strategy (DBEIS)

After a long and seemingly colder than normal winter, spring is in the air, and we can all look forward to longer and warmer days, and using and paying a lot less to heat our homes.

As well as looking forward to warmer days ahead, I’m reflecting on my time spent this winter as the Phoenix Energy Champion, where I’ve been running a drop-in energy café at The Green Man every Wednesday.

The idea is for fellow residents to come and chat to me about how they can save energy in their homes. I’ve also been out and about in the community and as well as visiting residents at home, I’ve run Phoenix advice sessions at Goldsmiths Community Centre, South Lewisham GP surgery and held sessions at Phoenix’s extra care scheme at Hazelhurst Court.

In total, I’ve spoken to 113 different people and helped them to save over £10,000 by encouraging them to make use of the Warm Home Discount, Thames Water WaterSure Plus scheme and changing energy supplier.

I’ve also helped people to make significant savings on their fuel bills, by switching energy supplier or tariff, or changing the way they pay for their energy. Often people aren’t convinced that there is any way to make savings on fuel bills, and think that whoever your supplier is, it will work out at the same cost. This isn’t the case, but sometimes people need some encouragement and persuading!

At the energy café we offer “freebies” such as low energy lightbulbs, room temperature thermometers and reflective radiator panels, and this really helps! They’re all useful things to help save on your bills, and along with a voucher for a coffee and cake from The Green Man café it really encourages people to take the time to sit down with me and engage!

I delivered a training session to over 40 Phoenix staff, so that they are aware of the savings that we can all benefit from, and have taken part in roundtable discussions with other energy champions in Lewisham, Greenwich and Southwark, helping to share ideas and knowledge.

I’ve really enjoyed my time as the Phoenix Energy Champion – it’s been fantastic to get out and about to meet people and help them save money. My biggest surprise has been how many people were unaware that they could benefit from the Warm Homes Discount – worth £140!

I’ll be back to deliver a session at the Phoenix Academy later this year and hope to deliver another round of energy cafés in the autumn.

In the meantime, if you’d like advice on how to save energy and money, call Phoenix to arrange a free energy advice visit.