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Observer Ethical awards Winners 2011

About us

About us

From 1st February 2015 the National Energy Foundation took over the management of YouGen. Having run YouGen for many years Cathy decided it would thrive better as part of a larger organisation where the service could develop and expand. Cathy valued NEF’s fairness, independence, passion and professionalism and NEF was delighted to be asked to become part of this multi award winning project.

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.

Our values:
Fair; Independent; Passionate; Professional

We'll know we've succeeded if you manage to find the information that you need to make a wise investment in energy efficiency or renewable energy, and go on to find a good, local installer you can trust to do an excellent job.

Happy browsing … and please let us know what you think of the site and how we can improve it.

Installed renewables?
If you have made energy efficiency improvements to your home or business do sign up, share your story with our visitors and help them learn from your experience. We'll share the best tips in our monthly newsletter. If your installer did a good job, please recommend them (or ask them to join if they aren't already a member).

Are you and installer or consultant?
If you give great customer service and get most of your business from word of mouth, then we'd like to work with you. Find out how YouGen membership can benefit your business.


Shortlisted: Contribution to Energy Efficiency and Renewables, Energy Efficient and Renewable Awards 2014.

Winner: Green Business of the Year, Venus Award National and Devon 2013.

Finalist: Inspirational Woman category of the Venus Awards Devon 2013.

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 Achievement). 

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

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