Evaluation of Energy 360 Project

Summary

The Energy 360 Project was funded by Energy Saving Trust’s Phase 1, Round 6, Energy Redress Scheme grant and was implemented by LBN from August 2020 to February 2022. The project’s overarching objective was to tackle fuel poverty by helping vulnerable individuals and families to improve home energy efficiency while reducing their bills and carbon footprint. Guided by a Theory of Change, a mix of evaluation methods were used to build evidence of the project’s impact.

About the client

Lancashire BME Network is a charity that aims to advance the education of the public, primarily but not exclusively minority ethnic and deprived communities in the county of Lancashire, with the object of improving the conditions of life of the said beneficiaries.

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Lancashire BME Network evaluation

Evaluation aims

During the period February-March 2023, onEvidence Ltd and the Global Race Centre for Equality (GRACE), University of Central Lancashire, conducted an end-of-cycle evaluation of the Energy 360 Project. The objectives of the evaluation were to review the relevance, effectiveness, and efficiency of the project implemented and, in particular, to document its results in relation to its objectives as defined in the project document. Emphasis was placed on assessing the project’s capacity to adapt and respond to emerging issues, particularly the COVID-19 context, and on identifying best practices and lessons learned from implementing the project. The results of this evaluation were aimed at contributing to LBN accountability, its decision-making, and institutional learning to improve the quality of future interventions.

Evaluation approach and methods

A mixed-method approach, combining quantitative and qualitative methods was used to obtain a detailed understanding of the project’s accomplishments and the lessons learned. The following research tools were applied:

a) A desk review and secondary data-collection analysis of a project documents, progress reports and LBN web pages. Additional relevant LBN resources and knowledge products and third-party reports were also reviewed.
b) A stakeholder map was drawn up to identify the project’s stakeholders (participants and beneficiaries), as well as LBN staff members involved in implementing the project. The mapping served the purpose of providing an overview of the range of stakeholders involved, and of selecting partners for interviews.
c) Semi-structured individual interviews were conducted remotely with key project stakeholders from a random selection of partner organisations. One stakeholder shared information via email that was also taken into consideration.

The qualitative and quantitative data collected were compiled and analysed at different stages of the evaluation process, against specific evaluation questions, using the evaluation framework as the overarching guide to validate findings and formulate conclusions and recommendations.

Key evaluation findings

Relevance
Generally, the project was highly relevant to the target beneficiaries’ needs throughout its implementation. Its alignment with the LBN programmes of work was high, as well as with the core priority of the Energy Redress Scheme with regard to “helping people who are most at risk from cold homes and high energy bills”.
Effectiveness
Despite major adjustments to the implementation plan, the project was effective in the delivery of the main outputs and activities, while services were extended to more beneficiaries than originally planned.
Efficiency
Project implementation suffered delays due to external factors, which affected the technical and financial execution. However, resources were used in an efficient manner, with the delivery of services and activities being guided by LBN know-how and high standards of quality.

The full report is published on the University of Central Lancashire website here.

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