The Association for the Conservation of Energy (ACE) exists to enable the UK to become energy efficient, working to influence the development of a long-term, stable and rational policy framework to support increased investment in energy efficiency across the UK. ACE moved into CAN Mezzanine, Old Street earlier this year.
We spoke to the CEO of ACE, Dr Joanne Wade to find out more about what they do.
"We help policy makers to understand what the energy efficiency industry knows, thinks and understands about increasing energy efficiency. We help the industry to understand what the government is thinking and how they can prepare for an opportunity that might be there for them."
One of ACE’s main projects, ‘Local Stories’, involves focusing on energy efficiency in a particular constituency and explaining the benefits of higher efficiency for the people who live and work in the area.
"We talk to local business and community groups to find out what energy efficiency work is taking place already and whether buildings are energy efficient. We then produce some case studies, explain how the local people would benefit if buildings were more energy efficient and present it to the MP to highlight its importance to the people in their constituency. We've done six constituencies around the country and one for London but we aim to do many more this year, including a report on Manchester, which we will be publishing in the summer. Our target is to build a coalition in constituencies of everyone who is interested in energy efficiency and want to do something about it- the local community groups and the local authority and get them working together.
"Our biggest challenge is that energy efficiency is not a high priority for government. we are not going to meet our climate change targets unless we get a government policy that supports that.
"It is really hard to know how Brexit will affect things. One way it may affect it is that a lot of the companies who supply loft insulation are not British or European, they're global. They might decide not to invest here if they think we are more risky.”
Another of ACE's main focuses is to raise awareness of their work amongst smaller companies and encouraging them to join its membership network.
"The smaller, newer and more innovative companies will make the changes in the future so we need to empower them to do that for themselves. They need a voice and would benefit from being better informed- we can help with that.”
CAN Mezzanine houses a wide range of third sector organisations in a collaborative open-office environment with several working in the energy sector.
"We have had good conversations with Housing Association Charitable Trust because we do a lot of work with housing associations and we have been working with the Green MEP's. We know the National Energy Action well so we will continue working with them.
"CAN has a really nice working environment, the people are friendly and there's a lively energy here."