Energize Worcester expands on NUS’ Student Switch Off model, working with landlords and students to reduce energy consumption in student homes.
To create far reaching behaviour change, the University of Worcester Students’ Union have recruited and trained five student Energy Advocates, paid a living wage while gaining real professional experience.
“I got involved in this project as I recognised it as an exciting unique project that would be beneficial to fellow students, yet also help expand my knowledge of sustainable living”, explained psychology student Rosa Kennard.
“I would love to see a change in the behaviour of those who might not think there is anything they can do to improve on sustainable living, or for people not so accustomed to the environment agenda to take a real interest in it”
Energize Worcester will be working with property owners around the city, and installing smart meters into student homes to develop real-time energy saving competitions.
Students’ Green Fund has allowed Energize Worcester to provide these students with meaningful developmental support in this role, providing employability skills more valuable than those which typical volunteering opportunities can offer.
“Energy Advocates were treated as professionals”, project manager Peng Li explained. “They were provided with accredited Level 3 Energy Awareness training… online study materials, one-day face-to-face training session and an exam session. Once the students pass their exam, they become a City & Guild accredited Energy Advisor”
“The training has been awesome” said second year student Jake Forsey. “I’m sure it will be beneficial”
Rosa agreed that “the training was very interesting and I learned a lot from it. Certain bits of information led me to do more research, and gave me a more rounded view on the topic as a whole. I feel like I should carry out this job with a high level of professionalism and deliver knowledge to the best of my ability”
Giving students’ unions the means to offer such meaningful personal development and professional experience, Students’ Green Fund engages a wider range of students than sustainability projects have in the past.
Offering these sorts of benefits, Energize Worcester attracted high calibre students from academic backgrounds ranging from drama to forensic science – helping to reach the broadest possible range of peers when promoting low-carbon lifestyles.