The E-seaP Awards are an EU funded initiative developed in the UK implemented in 2014 in 17 prisons across Europe. They offer the opportunity for prisons to be assessed, supported and rewarded upon the basis of all their efforts to address energy issues, not just on achieved savings. Successful establishments receive an internationally recognised award mark. E-seaP was born out of a close collaboration between its founders, Severn Wye Energy Agency and staff in 9 establishments in the South West of England and Wales.
E-seaP uses a matrix method to review buildings and energy management, education and training, and community outreach support (to both staff and offender families who represent a fuel poverty risk group).
The award follows a holistic approach reviewing prisons progress across three elements which are further broken into themes for assessment purposes:
Element 1—Buildings and Management
This element confronts the challenges of prison sites with their mixed building stock and usage. E-seaP experts work with facilities and site managers in an effort to find solutions to their energy challenges.
Element 2 Education and Training
This element examines whether sustainability and particularly energy issues are a feature of staff training and offender learning. E-seaP recognises that education and skills can help to tackle reoffending and identifies opportunities to combine all these benefits with a need to raise basic skills.
Element 3—Prison Communities
This area examines how prisons link to their communities. It works with prisoners’ families (many of which are in high-risk groups with regards to fuel poverty) and the local community to extend the impact of the project beyond the prison walls.
Through educating prisoners, staff and the wider community the project seeks to support prisons in reducing reoffending, tackling fuel poverty and increasing the impact of sustainability measures through the domestic sector (homes and families of staff and prisoners).
The award is staged, allowing prisons to demonstrate achievements at bronze, silver and gold levels. This allows prisons to pursue the action on an ongoing basis, promoting a continual process of reflection and improvement.
The available support aims to help prisons achieve awards and deliver on agendas to reduce reoffending by supporting access to training, advice and professional expertise in reducing costs through reduced energy consumption.