Households on low incomes are known to be vulnerable to fuel poverty. People with disabilities are often excluded from the labour market and reliant on welfare benefits, which places them at an increased risk of being fuel poor. Measures to alleviate fuel poverty, including advice and guidance on energy efficiency, are widely promoted, but the reach of these programmes among home occupants with disabilities is not known. People with learning disabilities often face extra barriers to accessing such resources.
Key research Question
The project focused on adults with a learning disability living independently as tenants or homeowners. It set out to investigate what choices they made with regard to energy use, including the extent to which they engaged with energy efficiency messages and if such information influenced their behaviour. In addition, it attempted to gauge levels of fuel poverty among this group.
Summary of activity
The study was based on questionnaire data gathered from 12 adults with learning disabilities, all of whom were living in London. Surveys were completed across at least two visits with each participant and explored aspects such as energy use, awareness of efficiency measures and the status of property, with active support to install energy-saving measures and build better awareness.