The report was based on the comments of the author as the referee of a separate EAGA-funded paper ‘Fuel Poverty, Energy Efficiency and Health’ by Melanie Henwood. EAGA subsequently issued the comments as a supplementary resource to their existing body of work on fuel poverty and health.
Key research Question
The original aim was to address particular points raised by Henwood’s report and to provide additional research or evidence that clarified arguments made by the original author to strengthen the draft report.
Summary of activity
The report comprises a set of narrative commentaries on particular statements and conclusions contained within Melanie Henwood’s paper.
The report presents a number of arguments, which it proposes should be considered in discussions on the impact of cold homes on health. These include the view that assessing the efficiency of appliances and the provision of hot water is integral to addressing domestic fuel poverty and focusing on heating systems alone is insufficient. It also explores the evidence on, and the challenges in, defining affordable warmth, as well as references to the literature demonstrating the link between negative health outcomes and cold homes, particularly for vulnerable groups such as the elderly.
The author offers a critique of Henwood’s recommended research agenda. This includes querying the robustness of the English House Condition Survey and European fuel poverty data. It is suggested that Henwood is incorrect to claim that research into the health effects of damp and house mites is not well established, and a number of references are provided.
The author outlines alternative topics for further research. These include: