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“What is the difference we could make as an energy advisor? What impact can we have on the people we are advising?  How can we deliver advice that leads to action?”

An introductory course aimed at those who are new to delivering home energy advice.  Places are limited, and priority will go to people who are currently delivering, or planning to deliver shortly, advice to households in Birmingham for the BrumEnergy project.  The course will be free to those who are accepted.  

This course will be delivered over eight half-day sessions between September 2024 and January 2025 (with breaks for school holidays).   Sessions will normally start at 10am and will end by 12.30pm (face to face sessions) or 11.30am (online sessions).  There will be a mixture of face to face, online (Zoom), and study visits.  Face to face will take place in Birmingham City Centre.  Participants are expected to attend all sessions.  No prior subject knowledge is required, however applicants will be expected to have basic literacy, numeracy and computer skills.  You should also expect to spend around one hour after each of the eight sessions on direct private study (homework reading, which will be provided to you).

Course goals

1.  Understand energy conservation in a variety of homes

2.  Understand the needs of the person receiving advice

3.  Be able to give advice on building fabric, heating and hot water systems, billing and metering, renewable energy

4.  Give advice on a range of energy related issues in the best interests of the householder

5.  Look after ourselves when we are giving advice

Make sure you have access to Zoom before you start the course.  We will organise a short (15 minutes) drop-in a week or so beforehand for anyone who is new to Zoom.  Please make sure that you have the necessary permissions to take part in Zoom meetings before you attempt to log on.

You should keep the following dates clear in your diary:

  • 18 September 2024, 10am-12.30pm (face-to-face)
  • 2 October 2024, 10am-11.30pm (online)
  • 16 October 2024, 10am-12.30pm (face-to-face)
  • 6 November 2024, 10am-12.30pm (online)
  • 20th November 2024, 10am-12.30pm (face-to-face)
  • 4th December 2024, 10am-12.30pm (online)
  • 15th January 2025, 10am-12.30pm (online)
  • 29th January 2025, 10am-12.30pm (face-to-face)

Venue for face-to-face sessions – Birmingham City Centre, to be confirmed.

Outline course content

Session 1 – What difference could we make as energy advisors?

Session 2 – How energy is wasted in the home

Session 3 – How appliances can waste energy

Session 4 –  Ventilation, condensation, and damp

Session 5 – Understanding buildings – heating, and over-heating

Session 6 – Understanding energy contracts

Session 7 – Understanding energy billing and metering

Session  8 – Fuel poverty – signs, symptoms, solutions

When you have completed the course, you will be awarded a BrumEnergy Open Badge in recognition of your achievement.  Open Badges is the world’s leading format for digital badges.  Open Badges enable you, as a learner, to:

  • Demonstrate skills and accomplishments
  • Claim Open Badges when issued to you
  • Collect Open Badges in a portfolio or backpack to tell your story
  • Share your badges on social media, and with your community.

This course will be taught by Phil Beardmore and Steph Vidal-Hall of the Good Work Coop.

Additional support

Additional support will be available to you in a number of formats.

BrumEnergy Storytelling Cafes This is something that we have been doing in BrumEnergy for a few months – it’s an open forum where people delivering energy advice can drop in and share stories, issues, and problems.  These will take place regularly on Zoom throughout the course, and will be your first point of support.  We will also run at least one during the summer of 2024 before the main course starts in September.  You will get an additional BrumEnergy Storytelling Cafe Open Badge for attending!  We will inform you separately of dates.  You should assume that you will attend at least one one-hour session.

Mentoring   Phil Beardmore will be available for individual or group mentoring, usually on Zoom. These are for things that can’t be resolved at a BrumEnergy Storytelling Cafe.   

Study visitsThese will be additional and you will earn extra badges.  They are likely to include at least one demonstration home visit where we will visit a real house and practise giving advice; a thermal imaging study visit where we will visit a house or group of houses to take thermal images – this will take place on a cold night in the winter so wrap up warm.  You will also be expected to attend a Birmingham Green Doors study visit (dates to be confirmed on the Birmingham Green Doors website) for which an extra badge will be awarded.. You should assume that you will attend 3 x 2-hour sessions at various locations around Birmingham, and that the thermal imaging group study visit will be in the evening.

Delivered by the Good Work Coop as part of the BrumEnergy project, funded by the Midlands Net Zero Hub./DESNZ