Saturday, 25 May 2013


Featured last month on this blog Futures Forum: My Green Directory, YouGen is the award-winning Sidbury-based on-line business providing clear information about renewable energy choices:

The need for YouGen struck Cathy Debenham in 2005, when she was doing up her house. There was so much information about renewable energy on the internet, but none of it answered the really practical questions she needed help with to be confident that she had chosen the right technology, the best product and a trustworthy installer. The idea just wouldn't go away, and eventually it grew into a business plan, a blog, and finally the full site you see here today was launched in April 2009. 
Our vision is of a UK where homes are energy efficient and local power generation from renewable sources is the norm.
Our purpose is to make it easy for people to get the information they need to make the best choices when improving the energy efficiency of their home or business or generating renewable energy; and find an installer they can trust.


Winner: WWF Green Game Changer Award, International Green Awards 2012.
Shortlisted for the SW Green Energy Awards 2012. 
Finalist Entrepreneur of the Year, PEA Awards - March 2012 (People and Environment Achievment). 
Shortlisted for Ethical Blog category of Observer Ethical Awards 2011 in association with Ecover - May 2011
Included in the BusinessGreen Twitter Top 100 (Green Guru category) - April 2011
Winner Green Web Award (Ethical living site) 2009 - January 2010

What people say

Southern Solar
"All of our staff across 6 offices love YouGen and everyone here thinks that it is great to have an independent site with useful and clear information to send people to! Our customers really appreciate good honest advice and YouGen provides it by the Bucketful." - Vicky Treen, Southern Solar
Sungift Solar
"YouGen is doing a fantastic job helping to make renewable energy more accessible for people and the customers who come to us through YouGen are always very well informed and serious about having renewable energy systems installed." -Ellen Rodger, SunGift Solar
The Guardian
"To find a reputable installer … look on the excellent website yougen.co.uk… The site describes how each technology works, the costs and any pitfalls. It also has a forum on which individuals can recommend installers they have used, all with an Amazon-style rating." - Miles Brignall, The Guardian

YouGen is a website giving independent advice to people who want to reduce their energy bills at their home or work through energy efficiency or renewable technologies. It brings together researched information and expert advice and helps consumers to make good decisions and negotiate with suppliers. Based in Devon, the site covers the whole of the UK, enabling experts, installers, existing microgenerators, and people new to renewable energy to help each other. Its aim is to make decisions easy, by providing practical, easy-to-read information on energy efficiency, solar panels, wind turbines, wood pellet stoves, biomass boilers, heat pumps and the financial incentives to help install them.

The website offers a range of information and services both for people interested in renewable energy and for manufacturers and installers of all the renewable energy technologies. 
Consumers can:
- read about the technologies
- ask an expert a question
- share their experience of renewable energy by adding a profile or learn from others
- find a recommended supplier. 

YouGen was founded in 2008 by Cathy Debenham a former journalist, with a background in marketing. When renovating her home in 2005 she found there was plenty of help in choosing between renewable energy technologies, but virtually no support for people in identifying trustworthy renewable energy suppliers and products and making the 'commercial decision' to go ahead. YouGen's 'recommend your supplier' scheme aims to help people make good decisions at the point of sale.


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