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Observer Ethical awards Winners 2011

YouGen press release

YouGen shortlisted for Green Web Awards

Posted on 11 December 2009 at 4:57 pm

Devon-based company, YouGen, has been shortlisted for the Green Web Awards in the Green Living Awards category. The winner will be decided by public vote.

YouGen aims to make it simple for people to find out which (if any) renewable energy is suitable for their home, and then to find a local supplier they can trust to install it.

“It’s very exciting to be shortlisted,” said Cathy Debenham, founder of YouGen. “Our site has only been going a year, and here we are competing alongside The Guardian. I’m delighted that all our hard work has been recognised.”

The inspiration for the site came when Cathy and her husband renovated their house a few years ago. “I did a lot of research into biomass boilers,” said Cathy. “But when it came to deciding whether or not to go ahead I was faced with quotes that differed by £5,000, and no way of telling how the products or installers compared. We played safe and stuck with a condensing gas boiler, but the idea for YouGen was sparked.

While there is now more help available, it is still very difficult for homeowners to know whether they are getting a good deal. Recently published research from Oxford University found that prices for wood-fuelled boilers varied from just over £3,000 to £16,000, and solar hot water systems prices varied from £1,000 to £8,000. YouGen helps people to choose a good installer by inviting people who have already used them to rate their service on the website.

“In such a new market, it’s often not possible to ask a friend or colleague for recommendations,” added Cathy. “Recommendations on YouGen aim to plug that gap and help people to choose a supplier. To encourage people to come to the site and rate their supplier, we enter everyone who does into a draw each month to win a GEO Minim Home Energy Hub.”

Voting for the Green Energy Awards is open until 31 December 2009 at

For more information contact Cathy Debenham, t: 01395 597879, m: 07786 440129, e: , w:

Notes to editors

On YouGen people can:
· Work out whether a technology is suitable for them
· Ask an energy expert a question
· See what other people have done, and learn from their experience
· Find a recommended local supplier (or help others by recommending theirs)
· Keep up to date with what’s new in energy efficiency and renewable energy

Benefits of generating our own power and heat at home include:
· the security of being independent of power companies and dodgy regimes
· protection from oil and gas price rises
· lowering carbon emissions, helping to prevent devastating climate change
· the pleasure of using cutting edge technology

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