Identification of Vulnerable Homes from the Fuel Poverty Concept. Indicator and Assessment Model

Author: Raúl Castaño de la Rosa
Organisation:
Department of Building Construction II
University of Seville
Date: 2018
Location: England

Effectively targeting fuel poverty requires a good understanding of levels of vulnerability and how they are constituted by poor-quality housing and economic circumstances. The main objective of this research was to develop a novel tool to assess and identify those vulnerable groups that are not recognised as fuel poor according to current fuel poverty indicators. 

Modelling the Impact of Fuel Poverty and Energy Efficiency on Health

Author: Dr Ben Wheeler
Organisation:
University of Exeter Medical School
Date: 2018
Location: England

Fuel poverty poses a distinct societal and healthcare burden. Official fuel poverty statistics show that around 11% of households in England are affected. These health and housing inequalities persist despite the knowledge that cold homes increase the risk of damp- and cold-related morbidity and mortality. This has been articulated in a number of landmark publications such as the 1980 Black Report, the 1998 Acheson Report and the 2010 Marmot Report, which called for improved household energy efficiency across the social gradient. Well-designed home energy efficiency improvements (e.g.

An Assessment Tool for Low Income/High Costs (LIHC) Fuel Poverty (Three-stage Project) Research Report to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Citizens Advice, National Energy Action and EAGA Charitable Trust

Author: Richard Moore (independent consultant
Organisation:
Jointly funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation
Citizens Advice
National Energy Action and EAGA Charitable Trust
Date: 2017
Location: England

Given the need to demonstrate progress in tackling fuel poverty, having access to a statistically sound evidence base that can both map fuel poverty and assess the impact of interventions is vital. However, calculating whether a household is in fuel poverty has proved methodologically challenging on a number of levels, and defining an agreed threshold has also been problematic. In 2012, a new fuel poverty indicator for England was introduced following the recommendations of the Hills Review.

Energy (In)efficiency: What Tenants Expect and Endure in Private Rented Housing

Author: Aimee Ambrose
Organisation:
CRESR
Sheffield Hallam University
Date: 2016
Location: England

A range of factors (e.g. rising house prices) are leading to a rapid growth in the number of households living in privately rented properties. Previous research has highlighted the disproportionate share of inferior-quality and older housing, as well as the concentration of low-income households, in this sector. As a result, energy efficiency levels are often poor.

An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of the Perceptions, Attitudes and Experiences of Energy Vulnerability among Urban Young Adults

Author: Danielle Butler
Organisation:
University of Salford
Date: 2015
Location: England

The main objective of this research was to undertake an in-depth qualitative exploration of the lived experience of fuel poverty among young adult households, an underrepresented demographic group within the existing literature and yet one that is disproportionately affected by this social problem.

Fuel Poverty and Energy Behaviours: Does a Post-boiler Upgrade Intervention Increase Energy Efficiency?

Author: Karen Smith
Organisation:
University of the West of England
Date: 2014
Location: England

Domestic energy consumption continues to generate a significant proportion of the UK’s carbon emissions. Since the start of the century, considerable investment has been made in increasing household energy efficiency and promoting energy conservation. Despite this, emissions from gas heating sources remain unchanged, and energy consumption is rising in some areas.

Reaching Fuel Poor Families: Informing New Approaches to Promoting Take-up of Fuel Poverty Assistance among Families with Children

Author: Sarah Royston
Organisation:
Association for the Conservation of Energy
The Children’s Centre
Date: 2014
Location: England

Previous research has pointed to a strong link between living in fuel poverty and a range of health problems including respiratory issues and mental illness, as well as other negative social outcomes. Given that a significant proportion of households living in fuel poverty are families with children, maximising the take-up of financial assistance and other forms of support such as advice and guidance available to families is vital.

Fuel Poverty and Disabled People: The Impact of Policy Change

Author: Carolyn Snell
Organisation:
Department of Social Policy and Social Work
University of York
Date: 2013
Location: England

Major policy changes are taking place in the welfare system, with greater restrictions on access and downward pressure on payments. In parallel, the government is reducing funding for measures targeted at alleviating or eradicating fuel poverty and placing an increased responsibility on energy suppliers to tackle the problem. People with disabilities are identified as vulnerable to fuel poverty, but the interactions between policy on energy and welfare reform, disability and experiences of fuel poverty are poorly understood. This research aimed to redress this evidence gap.  

Winter Warmer Project

Author: Jane Pettingell
Organisation:
Generate Opportunities
Date: 2013
Location: England

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.

Evaluation of Solid Wall Insulation in Fuel Poor Households in the Private Sector

Author: Nick Banks
Organisation:
Centre for Sustainable Energy
Date: 2012
Location: England

Although solid wall insulation (SWI) is known to have a positive impact on domestic energy efficiency, its installation is technically demanding and, in practice, disruptive to residents. The introduction of the national ‘Green Deal’ and Energy Company Obligation schemes from 2012 brought significant emphasis on the installation of energy efficiency measures in domestic properties, particularly where the household was at risk of fuel poverty or the building was eligible for improvement.

Too Big to Be Warm – Fuel Poverty and Under-occupation in Private Homes

Author: Trevor Houghton
Organisation:
National Right to Fuel Campaign
Date: 2012
Location: England

The UK Fuel Poverty Strategy (2001) indicated that households experiencing the most severe fuel poverty were more likely to be found in larger properties and that older people were particularly at risk. Other research concluded that under-occupation was more prevalent in the private sector, especially among owner-occupiers, but that most householders were satisfied with their current space and did not intend to downsize.  

The Role of Microgeneration Technologies in Alleviating Fuel Poverty

Author: Fin O’Flaherty
Organisation:
Sheffield Hallam University
Date: 2011
Location: England

To date, government initiatives aimed at tackling rising levels of fuel poverty have largely focused on managing household demand by reducing consumption through improving the energy performance of domestic properties (e.g. grants for insulation) or offsetting costs (e.g. Winter Fuel Payments). Less attention has been paid to how household power generation can play a part in addressing the issue.

The Community Financial Inclusion Project

Author: Liam Purcell
Organisation:
Christians Against Poverty
Thrive
Date: 2010
Location: England

Earlier research by Thrive, an initiative of Church Action on Poverty working in the borough of Stockton-on-Tees, carrying out action research and developing solutions to poverty and exclusion, indicated that financial exclusion and debt posed serious challenges for a segment of the population living in deprived neighbourhoods. Despite the presence of advice and support agencies in the area (e.g. Citizens Advice, credit unions, etc.), these households were not being reached. Research also suggested limitations and gaps in the current provision.

Warm for Life – An Investigation into the Effectiveness of the Winter Fuel Payment System as a Means of Tackling Fuel Poverty and the Delivery of an ‘Invest to Save’ Winter Fuel Payments Pilot Project

Author: Norwich City Council and National Energy Action (NEA)
Date: 2010
Location: England

The Winter Fuel Payment is a universal payment made to all UK households where the primary occupant is over 60 years of age. Introduced in 1997, it is intended to offset the cost of domestic heating for older people and thereby reduce the risk of fuel poverty and attendant impacts on health in this section of the population. However, as a non-means-tested benefit, it is available to more affluent households who have no need of the supplement.

Can Feed-in Tariffs and Renewable Heat Incentives Help Fuel Poverty and Inequality in the UK and, If So, How?

Author: Robert Saunders
Organisation:
Imperial College London
Date: 2010
Location: England

The introduction of national programmes such as the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) and Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) was aimed at encouraging the installation of domestic microgeneration systems. Their primary aim was to reduce fossil fuel consumption and thus carbon emissions, but they have the potential to have a positive impact on fuel poverty by reducing expenditure and generating income for households.

Changing Attitudes towards the Cold: Research into the Attitudes of Older People towards the Cold

Author: Angus Anderson
Organisation:
Attend Rights to Warmth
Date: 2009
Location: England

Over the first decade of this century, the issue of fuel poverty has gained increasing prominence, and central government has established dedicated initiatives focused on delivering warmer homes. There is evidence that living in a cold property has serious consequences for both an individual’s wellbeing and the resulting demand placed on health and social care services.

Fuel Poverty and the New Local Authority Performance Framework: Change for the Better?

Author: Kazi Hossain
Organisation:
Imperial College
Date: 2009
Location: England

In the mid-2000s, the UK government introduced a new framework for measuring the progress of local government in key public service agendas. This required every local authority (LA) in England to select a dashboard of indicators that best reflected their local priorities (plus a list of statutory measures) from a suite of 200 as the basis for a customised Local Area Agreement (LAA). Among the full list was NI187 ‘Tackling Fuel Poverty’.

Fuel Poverty Carbon Footprint

Author: Jacky Pett
Organisation:
Pett Projects
Date: 2008
Location: England

Local authorities in the UK have been primary actors in targeting households with messages about energy efficiency and coordinating schemes designed to improve domestic energy performance. At the same time, they have often led on implementing programmes to alleviate fuel poverty in their areas.

Tackling Barriers to the Take-up of Fuel Poverty Alleviation Measures

Author: Lyn Dodds
Organisation:
Northumbria University Sustainable Cities Research Institute
Date: 2008
Location: England

Despite considerable work around the take-up of fuel poverty alleviation programmes, prior to this project work had generally focused on or drawn upon evidence from frontline managers and other stakeholders. In comparison, research drawing on the insights of end users had been minimal.  

The Dynamics of Bad Housing on the Living Standards of Children – Evidence from the Families and Children Study (FACS)

Author: Matt Barnes
Organisation:
National Centre for Social Research (NatCen)
Date: 2008
Location: England

The UK government has made tackling poor housing a priority, particularly in the social housing sector and through criteria such as the Decent Homes Standard. At the same time, rising energy prices are believed to contribute to greater levels of fuel poverty, which affects low-income families, many of whom live in lower-quality properties. While a tacit link between inferior housing and negative outcomes for children has long been accepted, there remains a gap in knowledge about how this is manifested and what exactly the causal relationship is.

Quantifying and Classifying Rural Fuel Poverty

Author: William Baker
Organisation:
CSE
Date: 2008
Location: England

The Warm Front programme was introduced in 2000 as the central plank in the UK Government’s policy to tackle fuel poverty through practical measures to increase energy efficiency in domestic housing. However, rural and urban homes may present different challenges for such schemes owing to dissimilarities in property type, household demographics and access to energy supplies.

SAP Targets and Affordability in Social Housing

Author: Bill Wilkinson
Organisation:
Energy Audit Company
Date: 2006
Location: England

The introduction of legal requirements and regulations associated with Decent Homes, fuel poverty, Warm Homes and energy conservation has created a clear demand for effective ways to measure the energy efficiency of domestic properties. Since the 1990s, the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) has offered a way to estimate the energy performance of a property.

Central Heating: Uncovering the Impact on Social Relationships and Household Management

Author: Meryl Basham
Organisation:
Plymouth and South Devon Research and Development Support Unit
Peninsula Medical School
Date: 2004
Location: England

It is widely accepted that tackling fuel poverty is likely to have positive health benefits for households that receive practical interventions to make their homes warmer or more energy-efficient. In mapping the exact nature of that association, it is important to understand in detail the drivers and how such benefits are manifested. Being able to observe a process from start to finish offers valuable opportunities to catalogue the relationship and inform future policy, practice and research.

AIMING HIGH – An Evaluation of the Potential Contribution of Warm Front towards Meeting the Government’s Fuel Poverty Target in England

Author: Tom Sefton
Organisation:
Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE)
London School of Economics
Date: 2004
Location: England

In 2001, the UK Fuel Poverty Strategy made a commitment to eliminate fuel poverty within a decade. Achieving this will require a significant improvement on existing levels of progress. A number of different national energy programmes offer substantial scope to make progress in this area but currently prioritise other outcomes. As a result, their potential to eliminate fuel poverty is not being realised. 

Tackling Fuel Poverty – A Beacon Council Toolkit for Local Authorities

Author: National Energy Action (NEA) and five English local authorities (Blyth Valley Borough Council
Date: 2003
Location: England

In 2001, the UK Fuel Poverty Strategy introduced a national policy that pledged to eliminate fuel poverty within a decade. Local authorities have been tasked with translating the policy into local strategies and programmes of delivery on the ground, with duties to report on their progress. Many have produced detailed Affordable Warmth plans and programmes of activities designed to improve energy efficiency and tackle fuel poverty in their areas. The potential for sharing learning and best practice is therefore significant.

The Riviera Housing and Health Survey

Author: Sarah Sullivan
Organisation:
Plymouth and South Devon Research and Development Support Unit
Date: 2003
Location: England

A significant proportion of housing research seeks to influence government policy on health inequalities. While previous studies have suggested there is a link between substandard housing and health deficiencies, identifying causality among a range of other contributory factors is often challenging.

Fuel Poverty and Health: A Guide for Primary Care Organisations and Public Health and Primary Care Professionals

Author: Vivienne Press
Organisation:
Co-funded by the Faculty of Public Health Medicine
the Health Development Agency
Help the Aged and the Met Office
Date: 2003
Location: England

Frontline health professionals often deal with the outcomes of poor housing conditions in their daily work. This contact also means they are well placed to offer assistance to residents on how they can access appropriate advice and opportunities such as grants or relevant payments.  

Developing a Methodology to Evaluate the Outcome of Investment in Affordable Warmth

Author: Janet Rudge
Organisation:
Low Energy Architecture Research Unit
School of Architecture and Interior Design
University of North London
Date: 2001
Location: England

Cold homes are believed to be a significant factor in excess winter deaths recorded in the UK, and low internal and/or external temperatures are associated with ill health, but it has often been a challenge to demonstrate a causal link because of the complex variables involved and the prohibitive expense of dedicated research. It is often assumed that low-income households are at a high risk in this respect, being less able to afford to heat their homes or pay for improvements and more likely to live in properties in poor repair.

Housing and Health – The Cornwall Intervention Study

Author: James Bolt
Organisation:
South and West Devon Health Authority
Department of Public Health Medicine
Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Health Authority
Date: 2000
Location: England

It is widely assumed that living in damp and draughty housing can seriously aggravate pre-existing health conditions, such as asthma. It is also expected that tackling such issues will lead to improved health among residents. However, to date very little research has been undertaken to determine if such measures do result in lower levels of morbidity. The new duties of partnership between local councils and health authorities also require greater coordination on issues such as housing and health, and establishing how to do this effectively is important. 

Domestic Energy Efficiency and Health: Local and National Perspectives

Author: Association for the Conservation of Energy and projects in partnership
Organisation:
Co-funded by Transco
Eaga Ltd
the Energy Saving Trust
the Local Government Association and Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council
Date: 1999
Location: England

There has long been an association between poor housing and adverse health outcomes, which has been increasingly recognised by government.

Multiple Debts and Fuel Costs: A Review of the Literature and a Survey of Citizens Advice Bureau Clients

Author: Social Welfare Research Unit
Organisation:
University of Northumbria
Date: 1999
Location: England

Evidence from the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux (NACAB) suggested that fuel poverty was a major issue among their clients, many of whom struggled with multiple debts. There was an assumption that not only did fuel costs form a significant proportion of the overall sums owed among clients in debt, they were also a driver of debt in other areas. Furthermore, there appeared to be an association between fuel poverty and problems in other areas such as health.  

The Relationship between Indoor Humidity, Fuel Poverty and Housing Conditions on Exacerbation, Symptoms and Lung Function of Patients with Mild and Moderate Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Author: James Brown
Organisation:
University of London
Date: 1998
Location: England

It has long been known that there is a strong relationship between poor housing conditions and poor health outcomes. Householders in fuel poverty are more likely to be living in cold, draughty and/or damp homes, which are physically harder to heat and have unsatisfactory heating systems.

The Relationship between Indoor Humidity, Fuel Poverty and Housing Conditions on Exacerbation, Symptoms and Lung Function of Patients with Moderate and Severe Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Author: Roselle Herring
Organisation:
University of London
Date: 1998
Location: England

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a long-term degenerative condition that reduces the airflow into and out of the lungs. It remains a major challenge for health services; the level of mortality is far greater than that observed among asthma sufferers. Mortality among COPD patients is twice as high in summer as in winter, and the progression of the disease is much more rapid, suggesting the influence of seasonal effects.

The Relationship between Humidity, Fuel Poverty and Housing Conditions on Exacerbation, Symptoms and Lung Function of Patients with Moderate and Mild Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Author: Nic Hague
Organisation:
University of London
Date: 1998
Location: England

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a significant cause of ill health, hospitalisation and death in England and Wales. It is known that damp conditions in housing aggravate the symptoms of asthma sufferers owing to a greater volume of inhaled airborne allergens, but while the pathology of COPD is also largely concerned with disrupted lung function, it has a number of different underlying traits. It is known that the symptoms are worse the lower external and internal temperatures become. 

Energy Advice Needs of Visually Impaired People

Author: National Energy Action (NEA)
Date: 1998
Location: England

There are approximately a million visually impaired people in the UK, but preliminary research suggests that their energy advice needs have been entirely overlooked. While some information resources could be requested in accessible formats (such as large print), these options were not produced as standard and only related to a proportion of the full range of material. As a result, a significant subsection of the population may have been missing out on energy efficiency opportunities, reducing the potential impact of programmes.

The Liverpool Fuel Poverty Survey

Author: William Baker
Organisation:
Liverpool City Council and Merseyside Right to Fuel Action Group
Date: 1998
Location: England

Since the 1980s, Liverpool had faced significant challenges with deprivation and urban decline. The awareness of fuel poverty as a distinct issue in the 1990s led to a greater focus in the UK on how this was manifested among different communities and how it related to other major public agendas such as housing and health. There was an emerging recognition that residents of Liverpool were struggling with covering the costs of domestic energy.

Rural Fuel Poverty – A Project in South West Wiltshire to Study Rural Fuel Poverty and Develop Practical Solutions

Author: Energy for Sustainable Development Ltd.
Organisation:
Co-funded by the Rural Development Commission
Date: 1997
Location: England

To date, research on fuel poverty has neglected the specific issues affecting households in rural areas.

The Housing and Heating of Low-income Households

Author: Sandra Hutton
Organisation:
Social Policy Research Unit
University of York
Date: 1997
Location: England

The term ‘low-income households’ is commonly used in studies of domestic energy use. Invariably, the assumption is made that all households that fall within this classification face similar risks. However, this category covers a multitude of property formats of different ages and builds, as well as a variety of household types and a considerable spectrum of incomes. Understanding which households are most vulnerable is important to be able to effectively target interventions.

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