This briefing is based on research with six community groups who have run multiple energy cafés across the UK. The study aimed to understand whether, with whom and under what circumstances advice through energy cafés works.
An energy café – also sometimes referred to as an energy shop – is a local initiative providing energy advice in a welcoming café setting. Energy cafés are physical spaces where people can get face-to-face energy advice – filling a gap that was created by the disappearance of energy advice centres and high-street presence of energy suppliers.
The research found that energy cafés provide good value for money in terms of helping clients to make financial savings by engaging with the energy market and enabling access to price support mechanisms and debt relief.The financial savings achieved can be significantly larger than the cost of providing the service.
This research is part of the Fuel Bill Drop Shop project.