Hello from The Energy Community! In this blog, we’re going to introduce ourselves, describe our journey so far and then we’ll be telling you about a vacancy for an IT manager role: we want to take on another voluntary member which, if successful, could lead to a permanent offer with shares in the company. So skip to the bit you like, or enjoy the whole story.
Who are The Energy Community?
Most people struggle to pay their bills. The cost of energy is increasing yet we have a phenomenal ability to waste it at a time when we really can’t afford to. Most people do not know where to start when it comes to saving energy. We all hate the big six energy companies.
These are the statements that form the landscape into which The Energy Community is slotting into. Our vision is to be able to provide personalised advice to everyone about how best to reduce their bills through energy management. We’ll take into account all the basics such as house type and number of people living there, but to be honest, that is only the start of it. In order for us to give useful and accessible advice we’ll be asking things like:
- What motivates you to save energy? Money or the environment?
- What do you do in the evenings?
- What have you already tried?
- Does your house get too cold in the winter?
We want to get to know our members and create a support network around them with similar people. Through The Energy Community, we will:
- Make energy visual and tangible
- Provide relevant advice by sharing experiences from similar people with similar lifestyles, homes and motivations.
- Measure their success and their impact continuously to maintain good energy saving behaviour.
- Engage people at all stages of life in energy education.
One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to advice. The impersonal approach won’t work, so we’re creating what could be seen as the Weight Watchers equivalent for energy!
We started out in 2014 as three PhD students with a vision, and USE helped us find our feet. We’ve set up as a social enterprise, we’ve won grants from Unltd., The School of Social Entrepreneurs and USE, and we’ve recently been awarded our first contract with a housing association in Sheffield, where we have access to 4000 houses in an area of Sheffield.
It’s taken a while to get to this point. We’ve been balancing PhD work with writing blogs, developing our initial website, writing funding applications, networking and writing business plans. However, it’s been a fantastic journey so far and we’ve met some really inspirational people. All of our mentors and advisors that we’ve spoken to have been brilliant and 99% of the people you meet are enthusiastic, kind and excited to hear about our ideas.
It’s an exciting time for us as we’re looking to provide a proof of concept with our new contract in order to access larger pots of funding. We need a big chunk of capital to fund the development of our website, which will integrate smart meter data acquired from a live government database in real time, membership profiles and e-commerce aspects. We’re all pretty good at energy, but what we’re not so good at is the web development side. This is where our opportunity lies:
We’re looking for someone to join the team!
So we have got a nice website at www.theenergycommunity.com. It was outsourced and they did a good job. However, we know that our team is not complete unless we have someone who really knows what they’re talking about when it comes to web development.
We’re not looking for someone who can do the whole lot, but for someone who can manage the outsourced work. When applying for funding, having a web developer on the team adds clout and reduces risk on the funder’s part. Furthermore, there are plenty of smaller things we want to do on our website in the meantime.
We see this as being a long term position and if the first few months or so go well then we’d like you to become a shareholder in the company. Having said that, if you just want to get some experience within a startup with measurable outcomes then this is also for you!
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Many thanks to frankieleon for the featured image.