Energy Advice Exchange

The Energy Advice Exchange is an informal discussion group bringing together a wide range of actors who are arguing for a higher priority for the provision of energy advice. The three of us – Catrin Maby, Louise Sunderland and Rod Janssen – are hoping that our analysis, information gathering and recommendations will help all stakeholders in the approval process of the “winter package.” We have prepared various documents to help argue for that higher priority.


Latest news:

Latest blogs from the EAE team:

Catrin wrote blog in June 2019 on the need for minimum energy efficiency standards for existing homes since one of the many challenges we face is decarbonising the housing stock.

Rod wrote a blog on the need for a greater sense of urgency addressing climate change and that the consumer has to be the heart and centre of an effective low-carbon energy transition strategy that focuses first on improved energy efficiency.

Rod wrote a blog on the need for effective energy advice to ensure consumers are effectively “empowered” for smart renovations.

Louise Sunderland recently published a blog on a recent UK government report on the behaviours and attitudes of the fuel poor


Chairman’s Conclusions from June 20th Policy Roundtable

On June 20th a Policy Roundtable was held, organised by the Energy Advice Exchange and the Horizon 2020 PUBLENEF project. The roundtable became an official event during EU Sustainable Energy Week.

There was an excellent discussion. Here you will find the Chairman’s Conclusions.


April 2017: EAE publishes new briefing on good practice in energy advisory services

EAE has published a new briefing, Consumer energy advisory services: supporting building energy renovation strategy in practice, that highlights some good practice from across Europe that illustrates a range of approaches that have been taken to offering advisory services to support consumers to deliver significant building energy savings and support national building renovation strategies.

February 2017: EAE provides its proposals for revising the Winter Package

The EAE has published a new briefing, Efficiency First means Consumers First: proposals for the Winter Package, that outlines essential changes to the EPBD and EED to ensure consumers are active and engaged.

February 2017: Frequently Asked Questions now available

For a handy reference on energy advice, the EAE has published Frequently asked questions on consumer information and advice for building energy renovation. This will be updated regularly. If you have questions about the provision of energy advice, please let us know.


EAE Resources


Latest blogs on EiD

Rod wrote a blog on the need for effective energy advice to ensure consumers are effectively “empowered” for smart renovations.

Louise Sunderland recently published a blog on a recent UK government report on the behaviours and attitudes of the fuel poor

Catrin Maby recently published a blog: “A Passport to a better building future? Putting the Building Renovation Passport in context”

Catrin, Louise and Rod recently published a blog that discusses that the main barrier to domestic energy efficiency is cost

Louise Sunderland recently published a blog that discusses the much needed “glue” in a renovation strategy.

Catrin Maby recently published a blog that provided some insight from years of experience providing energy advice.

Louise Sunderland recently provided an important blog on what it really takes to raise the renovation rate.

Catrin Maby recently provided her reflections on the new UK government review on consumer advice for energy efficiency.

Louise Sunderland recently provided her reflections on the “winter package in an EiD post.


Presentations, blogs, etc.

Rod Janssen provided a column on the eceee website about why we need to think locally first because local authorities increasingly understand why they must take sustainable energy actions and, importantly, they are closer to consumers – consumers who actually do save energy.

Louise Sunderland made a presentation on June 22nd at a EU Sustainable Energy Week event organised by EuroACE.

Louise Sunderland and Rod Janssen provided a column on the eceee website about the expectations of the impact of Article 7 of the Energy Efficiency Directive

Rod Janssen provided a column on the eceee website on the whirlwind underway in the approval process of the Commission’s winter package.

Catrin Maby’s presentation on energy advice for deep retrofit at World Sustainable Energy Days, March 1, 2017.

Louise Sunderland’s column, What does the Winter Package do for building renovation? on eceee website.

Catrin Maby’s post for EiD, January 2017

Louise Sunderland’s guest blog for the Association for the Conservation of Energy, January 2017.

Louise Sunderland’s post for EiD, December 2016.

Catrin Maby’s presentation at Renovate Europe Day in Brussels, October 13, 2016.

Rod Janssen’s column for eceee in July 2016

Catrin Maby’s post, ‘We think in generalities but we live in detail…’ How do we help consumers make the right decisions on having an energy renovation?, on EiD, September 23, 2016


About the Energy Advice Exchange

While Europe needs a renovation strategy, until the consumer – the building owner or the tenant – is better empowered through a greater understanding of the technical and programme options, the impact will be poor.

Energy advisory services are a key piece of the jigsaw of enabling mechanisms necessary to achieve the step change in buildings renovation that we need to achieve Europe’s climate ambitions. Building owners and users need energy advice and information to achieve the energy efficient renovations foreseen in Renovation Strategies – especially deep renovations. They need good technical, behavioural and programme advice as much as they need better financial support.

Over the last year Catrin Maby, Louise Sunderland and Rod Janssen have been working together to assess the provision of energy efficiency advice and information globally (in the household and SME sectors). We found that there are pockets of excellent practice and practitioners, and some policy makers, recognise the essential contribution advice makes to achieving energy policy goals. However, energy advice programmes in general suffer from difficulties in sustaining funding, a lack of medium to long-term sustainability, and, importantly, a lack of concrete evidence of impact that leads to a lack of long-term commitment.

There is a risk that energy advisory services are undervalued or taken for granted, and that renovation strategies can fail without them.

In order to plug the gap in published material on the role and value of advisory services, over the next month we will be writing a Discussion Paper to highlight the relevance of energy advisory services to achieving energy efficiency in buildings, present the state of the art, and highlight delivery and policy issues. The aim is to inform the forthcoming energy efficiency package from the European Commission, and ensure that energy advisory services are fully integrated in the revised approach.

We are also in the process of creating an informal discussion group called the Energy Advice Exchange to bring together a wide range of actors who appreciate the need for a higher priority for the provision of energy advice. This will give the consumer greater confidence to undertake a deep renovation.

If you would like more information about our work, please contact


About the Team

Catrin Maby OBE FRSA MEI MSc BA Hons

Catrin has worked in sustainable energy since 1984, when she set up an energy advice service for London tenants, and produced handbooks on recycling, draughtproofing and heating advice. During the 90s she worked with Birmingham City Council to develop energy efficiency aspects of urban renewal programmes, trained over 1,000 people in energy awareness, developed energy awareness materials for use in core skills adult education, and assisted several local authorities in producing home energy efficiency and affordable warmth strategies.

Catrin set up the non-profit company Severn Wye Energy Agency in 1999, and as CEO built it to a 45 strong organisation, leaving in 2015 to focus on research and policy. Catrin has led European projects on energy advice (SErENADE), retrofit of social housing (SHARE), and comunity-scale delivery of retrofit (Countdown to Low Carbon Homes), as well as the innovative Stroud Target 2050 programme which included one of the 5 UK ‘Pay As You Save’ pilots. She was a member of the Board of FEDARENE from 2007-15, and Chair of the cross-sectoral UK Energy Advice Providers Group from 2007-12.

Catrin has a degree in Engineering Science from Oxford University and an MSc in Energy Resources Management from South Bank Polytechnic. She received an OBE in 2012 for services to the environment and social equity.


Louise Sunderland

Louise has worked in sustainable energy in the buildings sector for over a decade in research, lobbying and advisory capacities.

Louise’s work has ranged from hands on evaluation of local carbon reduction programmes to multi-country policy evaluation and advising built environment companies on sustainability best practice. Louise has worked for national organisations in the UK, the UK Green Building Council and the Association for the Conservation of Energy, in research and policy advisory roles. She is an expert evaluator for the European Commission and has served as an expert witness to the House of Lords. She also Chaired the Existing Homes Alliance for England and Wales.

Louise has an MA and an MSc in Environmental Technologies from Imperial College London (Distinction) and was the recipient of the BP Prize for Strategic Thinking. Previously she worked in international development and community development in the UK.


Rod Janssen

Rod Janssen is an expert in sustainable energy policies and gives special focus to how to communicate sustainable energy issues to a wide variety of audiences. He has worked in this field in various capacities since the 1970s first for the Canadian federal government and then at the International Energy Agency (IEA) in the 1980s. Since 1988 he has been an independent consultant based primarily in Paris, involved in Europe-wide energy efficiency and renewable energy policy analysis for more than two decades. He is a seasoned writer, evaluator, trainer and technical analyst with deep knowledge of institutional issues, legislation, incentives and the policy approaches to develop strategies for global climate change and energy efficiency. In 2012, Rod created the web service, Energy in Demand, to reach wider audiences globally through the use the web and social media. It is now one of the most popular blogs on sustainable energy in Europe.