Young Scot is on a Mission!

Today sees the launch of the ‘Young Scot is on an Energy Mission’ campaign and to tell us all about it we’re delighted to welcome guest blogger Laura Copley, Low Carbon Behaviours Development Officer with Young Scot

Young ScotYoung Scot, as the national youth information and citizenship agency for Scotland, has a key role to play in informing and engaging young people on the issues of energy and climate change, supporting them to make informed decisions and choices which limit their impact on the environment.

Launching a pioneering project that uses the innovative Young Scot Rewards platform, based on the principles of loyalty cards used in the private sector, young people are being encouraged and rewarded for making sustainable lifestyle choices which reduce their carbon footprint when shopping, travelling, working and living. Following our principle of co-design, over 700 young people have so far inputted into the scheme, exploring the Individual, Social and Material factors around low-carbon behaviours, using the innovative ISM analysis tool (Individual, Social, Material). Working closely with organisations such as Climate Challenge Fund, Zero Waste Scotland, Energy Saving Trust, Scottish Natural Heritage and a wide range of regional community based projects; there are now 73 organisations in Scotland offering points and rewards to young people in order to help them make low carbon choices.

coverYoung Scot has, to date, launched five campaigns that include offering points and rewards to young people in areas of: Sustainable Transport, Upcycling, Food Growing, Climate Change and the Year of Natural Scotland. With over 1,700 young people earning ‘green’ points so far, the Rewards scheme has led to increased youth participation in activities that both, increase awareness of low carbon living, and make positive changes within society.

Young Scot is on an Energy Mission’ is a campaign all about saving energy  in the home. Young people can earn points on their Young Scot cards by doing the ‘Big Energy Quiz’; a simple home energy audit designed to raise energy awareness and cut carbon. They can also earn points by calling the free-phone number of Home Energy Scotland (0808 808 2282) where they can get independent advise from energy experts.

Plus, we have some amazing energy related rewards on offer, including a work-shadowing opportunities with the marketing executive at Energy Saving Trust and volunteering opportunities at the Glasgow Science Centre during their Energy Emersion launch days. We also have some fun animal draft excluders, cuddly hotties, eco-desk lights, light bulb timers and more.

Our campaign will be live from today to Friday, 1 November and includes:

  • Geek Chic Jumper Facebook competition – Keeping cozy this winterJumper comp
  • Young Scot Extra video case study – What to do if you get stung with high energy bills
  • Energy Facebook memes
  • Twitter posts #YSmission
  • Information articles
  • Energy support sign-posting.

Please visit our ‘Young Scot is going on an Energy Mission’ campaign page if you’d like more informationIf you’d like to know more about our approach using the ISM tool, get in touch.

- Laura

Community Energy Fortnight: Power to the people

We’re delighted to welcome guest blogger Katie Shaw from Forum for the Future, which convenes the Community Energy Coalition. As it’s Community Energy Fortnight, Katie is promoting the benefits of working together for strength in numbers…

Katie

Our guest blogger Katie

“Power to the people. Say we want a revolution, we’d better get on right away. Power to the people right on.”

So go the lyrics to John Lennon’s 1971 hit song, “Power to the People”.  The political revolution it referred to at the time is pretty different to the revolution being sought by many in the UK today. But there’s certainly a resonance in its sentiment that’s resulted in it becoming something of a ‘team song’ for me recently.

So what is the revolution being called for in 2013? Well, it’s an energy revolution. And a community energy revolution, at that. In the words of Ed Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change: “We want nothing less than a community energy revolution.”

Community-owned energy brings with it a whole host of benefits, from job creation, to energy security to a reduction in carbon emissions. Not only that, but it keeps those benefits within local communities, and helps to engage people with the source of their energy – something crucial if we’re going to achieve behaviour change at the scale needed to make a real dent in our energy consumption.

Solar PV at the Eden Project

Solar PV at the Eden Project

There’s been a momentum building to raise awareness of this form of energy ownership for some time now, led by the Community Energy Coalition. This Coalition is made up of influential and trusted civic society organisations, such as The Co-operative, the National Trust, the Women’s Institute and the Church of England, all convened by sustainability non-profit Forum for the Future.

Founded in 2011, these organisations have been working together tirelessly to achieve their shared vision of community energy at scale in the UK by 2020.

And it seems that their engagement efforts are paying off. According to research by The Co-operative, seven out of ten people would support a community energy project near their home. Two out of three people who oppose wind turbines would change their minds if they were owned by, and benefitted, the local community.

In the latest phase of the Coalition’s work, this week sees the start of the UK’s first ever Community Energy Fortnight.

Neilston, in Scotland

Neilston, in Scotland

Designed to engage and inspire the public about the benefits of community energy, this Fortnight consists of events taking place right across the UK, from a tour of a wind park in Neilston, Scotland, to a walk around the National Trust hydros of Snowdonia; a behind-the-scenes tour of the Energy Centre at the Eden Project in Cornwall, to a community heat workshop in Buscot, Oxfordshire.

For the full list of events, visit the website.

In the build-up to the Fortnight, a petition has been running for people to sign in support of community energy. It will be presented to the Secretary of State during the second week of the Fortnight. To date it has a staggering 58,000 signatories – and counting! You can add your support to that call here.

Interested in learning more about community energy, and how it could be of benefitCEF logo to your local area?

Katie Shaw, Communications Advisor at Forum for the Future