Youthful energy


Trinity Catholic High School pupil Nate Harding has become an Energy Envoy for the National Energy Foundation. Here, the 14-year-old explains why, and introduces the awareness poster he created

My name is Nate Harding and I live in South Woodford. Just after starting Year 9, I signed up to do the Duke of Edinburgh award. I was really looking forward to doing this; however, there was the tiny issue of a second lockdown just after I began.

The Duke of Edinburgh scheme had already begun adapting to the many issues that lockdown brought, gathering together various schemes you could still take part in, even remotely.

One of these schemes was the opportunity to become an Energy Envoy for the National Energy Foundation. This idea really appealed to me as I have been interested in issues such as climate change and energy consumption for some time. I regularly remind everyone at home to be more energy efficient by turning off lights and switching off devices not in use.

To become an Energy Envoy I had to commit to spending an hour or two a week over a three-month period completing learning modules and undertaking an awareness campaign. For part of this, I had to create and launch a poster, highlighting an aspect of what I had learnt. I chose to do ‘energy awareness’ and concentrated on looking into small energy-saving actions that everyone could do at home.

I wanted to highlight ideas ranging from the smallest and cheapest of solutions through to some longer-term investments, like insulation. Part of my campaign was to demonstrate not only the energy savings but also the financial ones too. Did you know that just turning down your thermostat by 1°C could save you up to 10% off your annual heating bill (between the 18°C–21°C range)?

After creating my poster, I used my parents’ social media accounts to highlight what I had been working on. Part of being an Energy Envoy is to raise awareness in your local community and to report back on how your campaign has been received.

One of the ways I also used social media was to ask my mum to place my poster on our street WhatsApp group. We live on a long road in South Woodford and have many neighbours. This was well received, with one of our neighbours even sending through further information for me to read up on.

It’s been great to get involved in this scheme for the National Energy Foundation and also incredibly useful that they have created something that anyone can get on board with – even during a pandemic.

I intend to keep going with my efforts at home as climate change and energy issues are a huge challenge to the world we live in, a world we all want to keep on enjoying.

Click here to download Nate’s poster

For more information about the Energy Envoy scheme, visit swvg.co.uk/energy

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