YouGen - Energy Made Easy

YouGen is a platform that brings together the public’s enthusiasm for renewable and efficient energy with professional and highly recommended energy installers. YouGen became part of the National Energy Foundation in 2015 and has continued to thrive as part of our organisation ever since.

What we do

The core purpose of YouGen is to make it easy for people to find the information and installers they need to make the best choices in green and efficient energy. From solar panels and heat pumps to battery storage and insulation, we pride ourselves on being a trusted and independent source of information for the consumer.

Project history

The need for YouGen struck founder Cathy Debenham in 2005, when she was renovating her house. She needed help with to be confident that she had chosen the right technology, the best product and a trusted tradesperson. The National Energy Foundation took over the management of YouGen from 2015. Cathy valued the NEF’s fairness, independence, passion and professionalism and as an independent charity we were delighted to become part of this innovative and award-winning project.

Some statistics

  • Over 100 installers are members of YouGen

  • The site typically ranks Top 3 in search results when you search for ‘solar thermal’ and ‘biomass boiler'

  • 7000 newsletter subscribers and access to over 9000 Twitter follows

  • Over half a million visits the website each year

  • Ranks top 5 of all websites for the amount of direct click-through traffic, it sends to the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS).

Recent developments

This image is from one of our member Athena Electrical

Our blog has been pivotal in highlighting recent progress made in the green energy transition, including success stories and lessons learnt from individuals, businesses, local authorities and community groups. It also provides an opportunity to share practical answers to frequently asked questions we receive. We have recently enhanced our blog’s value as a consumer resource by developing partnerships with trade bodies such as HIES, RECC and the STA. This collaboration has provided us with the opportunity to inform consumers of their rights in the case of an installer ceasing to trade, as well as dealing with concerns about mis-selling practices used by a small number of rogue traders within the solar industry.                            

Simultaneously, our community of members has continued to thrive, as it seems customers have never been keener to recommend their installer. This helps raise the prestige of our YouGen members and helps residents and business feel confident they have made the right choice. Members who particularly stand out on the platform actively engage to the site by asking customers to recommend them, contribute to the blog section and utilise social media channels.

Our membership co-ordinator

Sam Tonge is the Membership Coordinator for YouGen as well as being an active contributor to the blog and newsletter as Households and Communities Project Officer for the National Energy Foundation.

Sam joined the team after having achieved a BSc (Hons) degree in Geography from Royal Holloway, University of London. He is passionate about renewable energy and sustainability and has undertaken a variety of placements focused in these areas. Sam enjoys currently driving the platform forward through an active social media presence and enjoys providing excellent service to customers and installers alike.  

To find out how YouGen can help you, get in touch with Sam on the YouGen helpline 01908 699999 or at yougen@nef.org.uk

What our stakeholders and members say

“HIES believes and supports the National Energy Foundation work in improving the efficiency of homes (both existing and new). Their work will help consumers save energy and money”. Faisal Hussain - The Home Insulation & Energy Systems Contractors Scheme (HIES)

“YouGen lends reassurance to householders approaching their first installation by being able to see what other people have made of a potential installer. It benefits our business by providing credible feedback from existing customers. We get 25% of our business through YouGen.”- Simon Robinson, Solinvictus

“We have been very impressed by YouGen’s approach to renewable energy.  It is doing a fantastic job helping to make renewable energy more accessible and the customers who come to us through YouGen are always well informed and serious about having renewable energy systems installed.  Our customers have definitely found it helpful to have such an up to date and well-rounded resource available to them.  It is also great to have having an independent arena for people to leave their feedback.  It ensures that people thinking about renewable energy get an accurate picture about the installer or system they are considering from those who have first-hand experience.” - Ellen Rodger, SunGift Solar 

“The web site is very fresh and easy to navigate, The forum has interesting and informative topics,  It is independent and honest. It benefits my business because I refer potential customers to it to read comments from our existing customers. It is good to be associated with an ethically-run, independent website.” - Stuart Houghton, Current Energy Solutions Ltd

“YouGen provides up to date reliable information on renewable technologies and government policies. It is the first (only) port of call when I need to know what the latest news is on the Renewable Heat Incentive.” - Helen Taylor, Perthshire Biofuels 

“A popular blog, with a useful filter enabling you to find posts by selecting the category you’re interested in. The host site is a mine of information about all aspects of renewable energy for the home.”- Centre for Alternative Technology

“Customer service is brilliant, always answer calls and queries promptly. The website is easy to use and navigate around for businesses and also for our customers. The blogs are a brilliant source of information and very interesting to see other installers/customers thoughts. The site benefits to us as a company is customers looking to install can look onto our profile and see feedback from other customers to help them make an informed decision on which may be the best company to choose to install for them.

The website has extremely clear information on all of the technologies so customers who do not know anything about a technology can read all of the clear information on YouGen and be able to understand clearly what is involved in that technology and how it works.” - Gabriel Wondrausch, SunGift Solar