A Devon-based woman has been shortlisted for the south west sustainable energy champion award in the annual SW Green Energy Awards.
Cathy Debenham, who launched renewable energy website YouGen in 2009, has made it her mission to make renewable energy more accessible to homeowners and small businesses. The idea stemmed from her experience in 2005, trying to renovate her house and make it as energy efficient as possible.
“It was a minefield,” said Cathy. “There was lots of information that explained how the different technologies generated electricity or heat, but not much of the very practical stuff that helps you work out whether it is suitable in your property. And none to help you work out which of the very different solutions proposed was the most effective for your circumstances.
“The idea for YouGen came out of my experience, and I am thrilled and honoured that all the hard work that has gone into developing the website and helping consumers find a good installer and the right product has been recognised by this nomination.”
“Understanding energy – and taking charge of how much you use – makes sense on so many levels,” added Cathy. “Yet because we don’t see energy, and it’s difficult to relate our actions to a monthly or quarterly bill, it can be difficult to get your head round. Generating your own from free natural resources can completely change your relationship with energy, and your understanding of it.”