Big Energy Saving Network 2015-16


The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has launched the 2015-16 Big Energy Saving Network (BESN). This is a £1m programme of training, support and grant funding for eligible third sector organisations and community groups to deliver an extensive programme of outreach to vulnerable consumers, focussed on helping them reduce their energy costs through assisted action on tariffs, switching and the take up of energy efficiency offers.

The main objectives of the Big Energy Saving Network outreach programme are to:

  • provide assisted action for the maximum number of vulnerable consumers possible with the funding available, helping them save money on their energy costs through attendance at BESN Champion and/or Volunteer led outreach sessions.
  • deliver a training programme to frontline workers who come into regular contact with vulnerable consumers, in order that they can give direct help and advice to clients to help them save money on their energy costs where practical.

The programme of outreach will be led by 170 specially trained Network Champions that will co-ordinate the training of further volunteers and frontline workers. These volunteers and frontline workers will in turn deliver proactive advice to consumers on energy issues via an assisted action approach.

Each applicant organisation must provide evidence of qualified staff and/or volunteers that can fulfil the Champion role. Each named Champion will receive specialised training paid for by DECC. The training will include information on tariffs, switching, assistance for vulnerable consumers and incorporate practical guidance on how to deliver your BESN project and meet the specified reporting requirements.

The outreach programme will run through autumn/winter 2015-16, with outreach activity concluding on 21 March 2016.

Each grant award is for a total of £5,000 per ‘Champion’, which is made up of an initial £4,000 grant to be followed by a further payment of up to £1,000 if the agreed objectives of the grant are met in full.

The deadline for applications is 17 July 2015. Full information is on GOV.UK