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Posts Tagged ‘BIG Energy Upgrade Programme’

Independent investigation reveals communities’ thoughts on Government’s Green Deal

Monday, March 4th, 2013

Implications and challenges surrounding the Governments energy-efficiency flagship programme the Green Deal have been raised by University of Sheffield researchers following an investigation into what low income communities in the Yorkshire and Humberside region think of the scheme.

Insulation in a home ©

Experts from the University of Sheffield, as part of wider research into the BIG Energy Upgrade Programme, held focus groups in six towns and cities across the region to assess initial awareness of the Green Deal by residents in deprived communities.

The Green Deal is one of the flagship policies of the current Coalition Government stimulating economic growth and aiming for carbon emissions reduction, fuel poverty reduction and improved homes.

Initial costs of any improvements are paid for by residents who take out a loan from the Green Deal Finance Company then pay it off through savings to their fuel bills.

The researchers interviewed residents in Leeds, Barnsley, Doncaster, Scunthorpe, Dewsbury and Grimsby in community centres, church halls and cafes.

Although more findings are expected following a thorough analysis of their data, the researchers were able to draw out some feedback including:

  • Many residents who do not own their own homes perceive a financial investment in someone else’s property as unfair and illogical.
  • The Green Deal is good for the local supply chains and the economy.
  • Residents are dubious of the role that banks might play in financing the Green Deal.
  • It will boost the energy efficiency market and creates a low carbon future for our building stocks.
  • Confusion between the Green Deal and other Government initiatives, such as solar panels and the feed-in tariff
  • Residents concluded that it is only a matter of time before their Local Authority or Housing Association will fund interventions across all homes under one scheme or another
  • While the financial savings may be significant in time, increased warmth and comfort are immediate and tangible.

Professor Lenny Koh, who led the project, said: “Green Deal is a strategic and important financial scheme to help people to keep their home warm and afford access to energy. Hence, Green Deal will improve quality of life of individuals.

“It is important that the housing stock is made more energy-efficient and the Green Deal is the right scheme to do that. It has a customised element for the assessment and installation process which makes it tailored to the needs of the user.

“People are dealing with Green Deal approved companies so should get an expected high standard of work. It is also sustainable and should only be implemented when it will definitely benefit residents.”

This work was undertaken as part of the BIG Energy Upgrade Programme, a project part financed by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for the Yorkshire and Humber Programme 2007 – 2013 and utilised additional funding from the University of Sheffield.

For more information on the Big Energy Upgrade please visit:

Management School success at ESRC Festival of Social Science 2012

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

The Festival of Social Science is run by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and took place between the 3rd and 10th of November this year. With events from some of the country’s leading social scientists across the UK the festival celebrated the very best of British social science research and how it influences our social, economic and political lives – both now and in the future. The Management School was pleased to  contribute the following events to the festival this year:

Punched from the screen: Workplace cyberbullying

Dr Christine Sprigg, Dr Carolyn Axtell and Sam Farley of  IWP and Dr Iain Coyne of Nottingham University

This event took place on the 7th of November and was concerned with the findings of the school’s recent study of workplace cyberbullying and its employee impact  in a number of university settings.  The study has consequently received international interest from Canada, India, France, and the US. The event was also the launch of the forthcoming research over the next three years with PhD student Sam Farley, who will be partly working on a work-based measure of cyberbullying. Dr Christine Sprigg said:  “Securing the ESRC funding enabled us to make an international media impact but also find high quality and relevant organizational local collaborators for our research going forwards. We are delighted to have been supported by ESRC in this way.”

ESRC Festival of Social Sciences 2012

Who wants to be an entrepreneur?

Dr Peter Rodgers, Dr Rob Wapshott of the Management School

This interactive workshop took place on the 9th of November at Longley Park Sixth Form College, Sheffield. The event was designed to raise awareness of issues relating to entrepreneurship and enterprise, giving students the opportunity to engage with and develop the skills required to set up and sustain business ventures.

Walking the tightrope: Elite performance in humans

Dr Ute Stephan of  IWP , Dr. Paul Thomas of DNAdefinitive and BBC Business Doctor, Andy McCann of Mental Skills Coach to Elite Athletes, Dr Mark Stacey NHS Anaesthetist, Andy Halliday Team GB Manager Men’s Hockey and Sam Brearey current World Sailing Champion and Steve Eaton, MBE, of the Special Forces

The aim of this event organised by the Management School in association with DNA definitive Wales, was to answer and discuss the following questions:

  • How can we get the best of out of ourselves and show peak performance when it really matters?
  • What is the role of leaders in encouraging high performance – are we perhaps best off getting rid of management altogether?
  • Which lessons can we learn from expert entrepreneurs on how to lead for high performance while creating truly innovative organisations?

The event brought together insights from business leaders, sports professionals, fire arms and medical specialists as well as academics and made for lively discussions with participants hailing from business, professional sports, public health, police and fire services and third sector.

ESRC Festival of Social Sciences 2012

Fuel Poverty related illnesses: a preventable plague

Prof. S.C. Lenny Koh – Director of Centre for Energy, Environment and Sustainability (CEES), University of Sheffield  Management School; Councillor Jack Scott – Cabinet Member, Sheffield City Council; Robert Marchand – Doctoral Researcher at CEES, University of Sheffield Management School; Kath McDaid – Project Development Co-ordinator, National Energy Action (NEA); Prof. Angela Tod – Professor of Health Services Research, Sheffield Hallam University; Kath Horner – Health Improvement Principle, NHS Sheffield; Jo Butcher – Health and Fuel Poverty Advisor, Friends of the Earth.

Attended by 50 delegates ranging from Cabinet Members,  Local Authority figures, Department of Health and  NHS representatives, third sector organisation and university associates, this event took place on the 6th of November in Firth Hall at the University of Sheffield. The event stimulated debate and discussion around the challenges of fuel poverty and how this impacts on health.  The event builds upon the BIG Energy Upgrade project (BEU), which The University of Sheffield is one of 14 partners including 6 Local Authorities, 4 ALMOs, 2 Social Housing Providers and Yorkshire Energy Services, which has received £14.9m funding of which £7m has been provided by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The BEU project targets deprived communities in Yorkshire & Humber and it aims to tackle fuel poverty and at the same time aims to stimulate business development and create job opportunities for those living in the targeted communities.

Coping with Austerity

Professor Jason Heyes University of Sheffield Management School, Dr Kevin Farnsworth from the University of Sheffield Department of Sociological Studies, Alan  Fraser Chief Executive of Birmingham YMCA

Taking place on the 9th of November at the Holy Trinity School in Barnsley, the primary aim of this event was to raise awareness of the consequences and potential consequences of the current government’s austerity measures, particularly in relation to their impact on the life chances and labour market experiences of young people. The event was also intended to demonstrate to the audience the value of social science research.  More than 40 young people between the ages of 16 and 18, including students from Holy Trinity, Sir Thomas Wharton Community College in Doncaster and Thomas Rotherham College in Rotherham attended the event. There were three presentations discussing potential alternative means of dealing with government debt,  the impact of spending and benefits cuts on homelessness,  and whether weaker employment protections are likely to lead to improvements in the employment opportunities available to young people and their ability to access good quality jobs.

ESRC Festival of Social Sciences 2012

Further information:

  • The ESRC Festival of Social Science offers a fascinating insight into some of the country’s leading social science research and how it influences our social, economic and political lives – both now and in the future. This celebration of the social sciences takes place across the UK – via public debates, conferences, workshops, interactive seminars, film screenings, virtual exhibitions and much more. This is the tenth year that ESRC has held the Festival of Social Science and each year the Festival grows from strength to strength.
  • The Big Energy Upgrade is a regional flagship project addressing the priority needs of both reduction in carbon emissions and the creation of jobs. To address the issues in an integrated approach the University of Sheffield has brought together a multidisciplinary team of academics working alongside Local Authorities, ALMOs, social housing providers and an energy services company. The Big Energy Upgrade, is delivered by a consortium of local authorities and social housing providers, led by Kirklees Council, is a very ambitious project as, for the first time in the UK, the Partners will work together in adopting a fully integrated, whole-house approach while installing energy efficiency measures and micro generation technologies in households. Through individual household assessments the project will identify a highly individual package of measures for each of the households and which will provide optimal insulation and energy control to the house.




BIG Energy Upgrade launched procurement and supply chain report at the Green Deal Value Chain event

Monday, November 12th, 2012

Richard Mellish, Head of the Green Deal Programme at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) addressed the BIG Energy Upgrade Green Deal Value Chain event at The University of Sheffield on Tuesday 18 September 2012. The event celebrated the contribution of the BIG Energy Upgrade to the national Green Deal and looked at future implications for homes and businesses across the Yorkshire and Humber region.

Mellish joined policy makers, representatives from local authorities, green deal providers, academics from the University of Sheffield and a panel of the UK’s biggest energy providers to discuss how to maximise the benefits that the Green Deal could provide to the region.

The BIG Energy Upgrade: Procurement and supply chain report – Green Deal and Energy Efficiency Retrofitting Supply Chains Delivery – was launched at the Green Deal Value Chain event and a copy of that report can now be downloaded.

For more information about this post, please see:


ESRC event: Fuel poverty related illnesses

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

A further addition to the Management School’s succession of ESRC Festival of Social Sciences events.

Date: 6 November 2012
Time: 9.30am to 2pm
Venue: University of Sheffield, 169-171 Northumberland Road

How do you find the fuel poor? Perspectives from the front line

With rising fuel poverty figures and a decreasing likelihood of meeting the UK governments’ legislative commitment to eradicating fuel poverty by 2016, the need to take effective action to tackle this social ill has never been more important. Against a background of austerity and economic slow down, how do front line services define fuel poverty, identify the fuel poor and tackle it in their everyday practice?

The Centre for Energy, Environment and Sustainability at the University of Sheffield plays host to an ESRC Festival of Social Science event seeking to uncover current approaches to fuel poverty, to stimulate debate over best practice and encourage the sharing of practitioners knowledge and academic insight to collaboratively move towards the ultimate erradication of fuel poverty. The event draws together social services, local authorities, social housing providers, community associations, third sector groups, health professionals and academics for what promises to be a lively debate, chaired by experts from within practice and academia.

For practitioners, this event provides an opportunity to understand how other services operate, explain their approach to other partners and develop a best practice approach to tackling fuel poverty. Academics will benefit from engaging with fuel poverty stakeholders to extend their knowledge and understanding of how fuel poverty is approached and how theory is or could be applied in practice.

Further information:

This event is also being supported by the Big Energy Upgrade, a flagship £14.9million, ERDF part-funded, multi partner project linking the University of Sheffield with 6 Local Authorities, 6 ALMOs/social housing providers and YES, an energy advice company to make houses across the Yorkshire and Humber region more energy efficient and reduce their carbon emissions. Find out more about the Big Energy Upgrade here.

The Festival of Social Science is run by the Economic and Social Research Council and takes place from 3-10 November 2012. With events from some of the country’s leading social scientists, the Festival celebrates the very best of British social science research and how it influences our social, economic and political lives – both now and in the future. This year’s Festival of Social Science has over 180 creative and exciting events across the UK to encourage businesses, charities, government agencies, schools and college students to discuss, discover and debate topical social science issues. Press releases detailing some of the varied events and a full list of the programme are available at the Festival website. You can now follow updates from the Festival on twitter using #esrcfestival

University of Sheffield hosts event to discuss contributions to the national Green Deal

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

The University hosted an event on Tuesday 18 September to discuss Government plans to revolutionise green energy and efficiency of homes and businesses across the Yorkshire and Humber region, and particularly the contribution of the BIG Energy Upgrade to the national Green Deal and how this will inform the delivery of the Green Deal and support ECO.  Details of the Green Deal are set to be announced next month.

Richard Mellish, head of the Green Deal Programme at the Department of Energy and Climate Change, was among the guests at the event. He joined representatives from Yorkshire councils, university academics and energy firms E-On, N-Power, Scottish Power, British Gas, EDF and Scottish and Southern, to discuss how to maximise the benefits that the Green Deal could provide to the region.

Professor Lenny Koh, from the Management School is leading an interdisciplinary team of academics and is actively supporting the long term economic development of the communities targeted by the project as they are working closely with regional businesses and local authorities in developing the regional supply chain for energy efficient measures and so stimulating the job market.

Professor Keith Burnett, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, said: “Our role has been to drive innovation in the energy efficiency supply chain.

“We’re also helping to alleviate fuel poverty in the areas of the Yorkshire and Humber region most in need, through our research in building and technology, energy and behaviour.”

The BIG Energy Upgrade has installed over 829 measures into homes across the Yorkshire region to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and improve energy efficiency. The investment has totalled £14.7m, £7m of which has been funded by the Yorkshire and Humber European Regional Development Fund Programme.

Coun Jack Scott, Sheffield Council cabinet member for environment, said: “The Green Deal is a major priority for Sheffield. We have a large housing stock that can be retrofitted and will benefit from the Green Deal. This will help to generate new jobs, develop new skills and stimulate the economy for our city.”

For further information see:




Success at ESRC festival of Social Science

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

£800 has been awarded to Professor Lenny Koh from the ESRC to organise an event around the title below:

Fuel poverty: it’s there but you can’t see it!

This project builds upon the success of the BIG Energy Upgrade (BEU) Programme, a multi-partner regional project which is focused on tackling fuel poverty through energy efficiency improvements in the 10% most deprived communities in Yorkshire and the Humber.

This debate will look at how fuel poverty is defined; how it is identified particularly by those who operate on the ground; what are the practices and methodologies used by GPs and the NHS in detecting those illnesses associated with fuel poverty. The overarching aim of the debate will be to gather evidence on how fuel poverty is detected by staff working on the “frontline” and what systems and processes are in place to tackle it.

For more information about Professor Koh’s research, please see:

The BIG Energy Upgrade Programme (BEU) is working with DECC and EEDO in preparing for the launch of the Green Deal

Friday, March 16th, 2012

The BIG Energy Upgrade Programme has been showcased on DECC’s website as a flagship project for its relevance to the forthcoming Green Deal ( This is thanks to the early adoption of the whole-house/whole community approach integrated by work carried out by the Consortium Partners, Yorkshire Energy Services and the University of Sheffield.

The evidence derived from the monitoring and the area-based delivery of retrofit installations will support the activities of the newly established Energy Efficiency Deployment Office (EEDO).

The programme also aims to address fuel poverty in the most deprived communities in the region.

The Management School is playing a major role in the BIG Energy Update Programme  thanks to the work carried out by Professor Lenny Koh as part of the Centre for Energy, Environment and Sustainability ( and the Logistic and Supply Chain Management Centre (LSCM) (

Professor Lenny Koh is leading an interdisciplinary team as part of the BIG Energy Upgrade project ( funded by the European Union European Regional Development Fund  (ERDF) and is working innovatively to develop new models, technology and systems to help companies reduce their environmental footprint and understand the public’s level of acceptance of these new practices.