Green Futures is a bimonthly magazine with news and debate on how the UK can make the transition to sustainability. This grant is for the production of a special supplement to Green Futures on fuel poverty, energy efficiency and health. Drawing on the experience of leading thinkers and practitioners in the field, this supplement will help make the case for a more positive, creative approach to achieving a sustainable energy future in the UK and bringing people out of energy-related poverty.
Key research Question
The resource was a special supplement provided with a copy of Green Futures magazine. While the main periodical focused on sustainable development, this supplement examined issues relating to fuel poverty, energy efficiency and health.
Summary of activity
The supplement featured a series of articles, each discussing aspects of fuel poverty and policy.
The output offered both immediate and longer-term recommendations. These included:
The criteria for Warm Front Grants should be amended to include measures that address under-occupied properties, and the scheme should be coordinated more effectively with other funding sources. The budgets of Home Improvement Agencies should be increased, and they should be tasked with leading the agenda to tackle fuel poverty and disrepair in private housing, in partnership with local authorities and other stakeholders.
A new programme should be established that develops practical support and better housing advice for older people around energy efficiency, home improvements and housing options.
The planning system should reflect the housing, health and care needs of older people, and a scheme should be developed to advise planners and housing providers (both private sector and Registered Social Landlords) how this can be done.
The definition of under-occupancy needs revisiting to consider how it can best be applied in the context of policy on the efficient use of housing resources or health and social care.
More research is needed to understand the range of factors connecting under-occupancy and fuel poverty in private housing. This should include qualitative studies with homeowners and more focus on age differences, under-occupation in the private rented sector and the health impacts and provision of alternative housing arrangements (e.g. retirement properties).