Community Organisations and Household Energy

Project Overview:

Community Organisations and Household Energy (COHE) is a research project running from October 2014 to March 2015, which will explore the role of community groups and local voluntary sector organisations in supporting householders to undertake energy efficiency measures.

COHE will focus on groups and projects that use home visits as part of their approach. It has long been observed that providing tailored energy efficiency advice or practical help through home visits can be very effective, but many agencies struggle to achieve access to homes, with lack of trust being an apparent constraint.

Community organisations hold potential to overcome this barrier and are already running or participating in a wide range of projects across the UK to help improve household energy efficiency.

This research aims to explore what activity is taking place, how it is being delivered and its impacts. The evidence gathered will be shared via a publicly available report produced for the Chesshire Lehmann Fund, and will be used to provide evidence for local and national government on how best to support this activity.

COHE is being carried out by researchers at De Montfort University’s Institute for Energy and Sustainable Development, drawing on funding and support from the Chesshire Lehmann Fund.


We will carry out 12 interviews with community organisations that are using home visits to support householders to carry out energy efficiency measures. We are keen to speak with a range of types of organisation, including:

  • Projects within local sustainability initiatives (e.g. Transition Towns, Low Carbon Communities)
  • Faith or interest based groups
  • Neighbourhood-based community organisations (e.g. residents’ associations)
  • Voluntary sector organisations employing paid staff (e.g. energy agencies, support projects for the elderly)

We will focus on recruiting projects that have achieved some demonstrable success, but we are also interested in projects where the impact is still unclear or hard to measure. As well as on-going projects, we are interested in projects that ran recently and are no longer active. We also wish to recruit respondents to represent a diversity of perspectives and issues, such as:

  • Projects using a range of methodologies (for example, home visits done as part of good neighbour schemes, peer-support projects and assessments done in partnership with Green Deal assessors).
  • A range of target audiences (e.g. vulnerable households, members of particular communities)
  • Projects operating in urban or rural settings.


For further information on the project, contact Dr Andrew Reeves on 0116 2506569 or For information about the Chesshire Lehmann Fund, go to



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