Past Secretariat Achievements

Past Secretariat Achievements

Of course, we recognise that there may come a time when a group or scheme for which we’re providing secretariat services has reached critical mass and is able to go it alone. Equally, circumstances change and some groups are disbanded. We’re proud to have supported many nascent organisations and welcome the time when they can become self-sufficient in their own right.

Here are some of the groups and schemes we’ve supported in the past.

Local United

We were delighted to be asked to provide initial secretariat services to Local United, a new grouping of social entrepreneurs whose aim was to promote social ventures as a means of putting a vibrant human society back in balance with the planet.

The first project we undertook was the creation of action packs, and we coordinated, edited and published the information.

The second project was to develop an affiliation scheme for energy switching. 

We also created the Local United website and helped produce its first business plan. Eventually, Local United became an established and independent group.

Further information is available from the Local United website.

Energy Efficiency Partnership for Buildings

The National Energy Foundation ran the Energy Efficiency Partnership for Buildings (EEPB) – the successor to the Energy Efficiency Partnership for Homes (EEPH) – from 2012 to 2014. EEPB/EEPH was an impartial, not-for-profit organisation that facilitated closer working between business (including all tiers of the supply chain), the Government and community organisations on all aspects of energy efficiency in buildings.

As a continuation of its commitment to maintain the knowledge base it developed over 15 years, key EEPB/EEPH reports are still available online on EEPB’s Google Drive, to which there is a document index. If you have any problems finding an EEPB report, please contact us via email.

Further information is available from the Energy Efficiency Partnership for Buildings website.

Ground Source Heat Pump Association

We initially worked with companies in the industry - with financial support from the Department of Trade & Industry - to form the Ground Source Heat Pump Club in 2004. The club was a gathering of UK-wide, like-minded pioneers for this low-running cost, low-carbon renewable heating technology. The Foundation went on to provide an effective secretariat and helped ensure that the technology gained proper recognition in Government grant and support schemes. More firms joined the club and in 2006 we helped members form a fully-fledged trade association. In 2014, the association was strong enough to become independent and it was incorporated as a company limited by guarentee.

The move to independence came at a time when the ground source heat pump industry had developed sufficiently to make full use of the GSHPA as its stand-alone trade body. The association continues to develop its role by supporting policy development with the Government, promoting the establishment of recognised installation standards and marketing the significant advantages of ground source heat pump technology to the supply chain and end-users.

Further information is availanble from the Ground Source Heat Pump Association website.

Sustainable Energy Academy

In 2007, John Doggart, Chairman of the Sustainable Energy Academy, approached the Foundation to provide secretariat services for the charity. Having very similar aims, we were delighted to assist and were able to provide the charity with full management services. One of our staff took on the role of Project Director for SEA's first initiative, which became the multi-award-winning SuperHomes project.  We also provided office space for all SEA’s activities and assisted in recruiting its first member of staff. In addition, we project managed both the WHISCERS and European Eracobuild (internal wall insulation) projects. Early in 2014, SEA merged with the National Energy Foundation and we took over full operational responsibility for all SEA projects and SEA staff were transferred to the Foundation.

Further information is available from the SuperHomes website.

Green Deal Providers Group

In 2012, with the proposed advent of the Green Deal, an innovative new funding scheme to support both domestic and non-domestic energy efficiency improvements, a number of leading industry participants approached the Foundation to provide secretariat services. Services were initially set up to support and facilitate a small number of time-limited task and finish groups. These groups proved so successful in addressing issues, and the secretariat service we provided was enabling constructive dialogue with DECC, the Green Deal Finance Company and others, it was agreed to extend the Green Deal Providers Group for another year.

2013 finally brought the launch of the Green Deal and our service continued to develop. In dialogue with Government, we were heavily involved in the production of the Green Deal Plan, worked closely with lawyers to ensure compliance with relevant legislation, assisted in precipitating changes to the Consumer Credit Act and helped secure funding for marketing and publicity of the scheme. The work we undertook made a real difference to the trajectory of the Green Deal and was considered so influential that the service is now being delivered via DECC and the Green Deal ORB.

Energy Efficiency Accreditation Scheme

In the early 1990s, a number of large companies had come together in a voluntary initiative to recognise achievements in saving energy through an award. However, by the late 1990s the scheme was nearly defunct with fewer than 50 participants and little public profile. We took over responsibility for the scheme and, in the following few years, signed up over 200 members, whilst also increasing the rigour of the independent certification of energy efficiency by members. Recognising its value for the proposed Carbon Reduction Commitment, the scheme was transferred to the Carbon Trust and modified to focus on CO2 emission reductions and renamed the Carbon Trust Standard.  The Foundation continued to work with the Carbon Trust and provided secretariat services for the standard until 2013 (please see below).

Further information is available from the Carbon Trust Standard website.

Carbon Trust Certification

The Carbon Trust Standard, a certification awarding organisations for measuring managing and reducing their carbon emissions, was established in June 2008 following on from the success of its predecessor the Energy Efficiency Accreditation Scheme.

We continued to work alongside the scheme as Operational Delivery Partner, and our five-year relationship helping to grow and administer the standard saw us carry out a range of supporting activities including:

  • Business development – lead generation and campaign management.

  • Operational delivery - management of a network of energy assessors and their delivery of carbon footprint assessments, and customer liaison.

  • Post-certification support – certification of customers, marketing support (event management and customer branding/PR reviews) and client satisfaction feedback.

Our successful relationship in delivering the Carbon Trust Standard also led to us providing additional support to many other areas of the Carbon Trust’s business activities, including product footprinting,  trust advisory and implementation services.

Further information is available from the Carbon Trust website.

Solar Trade Association

Solar water heating is the most widely applicable form of renewable energy in the UK, but the industry had won a poor reputation for standards and service.  We took over the secretariat of the Solar Trade Association in 2000 and worked closely with its Council to set a benchmark for responsibility in the industry.  Over the next 10 years, the Foundation ensured that members fully met national and European standards and were not guilty of over-selling benefits.  Also under our leadership, closer links were forged with the stronger industry in Europe, which led to the introduction of the Solar Keymark into the UK, and courses were developed with specialist training providers, to raise standards across the industry and to help members enter the microgeneration certification scheme. We continued to provide secretariat services for the Solar Trade Association until 2011.

Further information is available from the Solar Trade Association website.

Energy Efficiency Advice Centres

In the early 1990s, there were few local initiatives that gave consumers free, impartial advice on saving energy at home.  The newly-established Energy Saving Trust wanted to pilot a network of local information centres and we were appointed to manage the programme in 1993. With our support, a strong regime of independence, training and financial control was established. Independent research showed that advice centres were a cost-effective way of saving energy and carbon so, by the time the Energy Saving Trust took over responsibility for the project in 2001, the original time-limited pilot of 30 local centres had been extended to a fully-funded network covering the entire UK. Unfortunately, with recent financial constraints, these local advice centres have disappeared but the Energy Saving Trust does continue to provide a very useful web resource and a Green Deal advice service.

Further information is available from the Energy Saving Trust Advice Centre website.

If you work in the areas of sustainable energy, energy in buildings or low carbon, and feel that your sector could benefit from greater support, please get in touch. We’d very much like to discuss ways in which we could work together to support you.

We can either take the lead in setting up a new body or provide support to an existing association. We can act as principal, so members have a direct relationship with us, or as an agent of a board or committee, delivering benefits against a service level agreement. We can manage the entire activity, or focus on a specialist field such as web communication or technical standards as you wish.

We like to be flexible and we’re always happy to work with you to develop the solution which best meets your needs.

What people say about this service

Very professional and good service offered.

Lucy Shadbolt, Director of Green Deal, Insta Group

Four Housing

Very happy with the service provided. The National Energy Foundation staff members were knowledgeable and competent.

Liz Cox, Network Manager, Insta Group

Four Housing

First class service provided by the National Energy Foundation. It’s been an absolute pleasure working with them. They delivered what they said they would.

Tim Pollard, Head of Sustainability, Wolseley

Four Housing

Related case studies

Past Secretariat Achievements

Green Deal Providers Group - secretariat support

The Green Deal Providers Group (GDPG) was established in the run up to the launch of the Green Deal. A number of leading participants in the housing, energy supply and energy improvement industries realised that there was a need for more structured engagement between the prospective Green Deal provider community, DECC and the Green Deal Finance Company.