Future Directions for Fuel Poverty Research: A Delphi Study

Author: Graeme Sherriff
Organisation:
University of Salford
Date: 2019

This research was commissioned as part of the Eaga Charitable Trust Archive and Legacy project as a way of the Trust leaving a 

The Health of the Nation: Analysis of Cost-effectiveness and Success Factors in Health-related Fuel Poverty Schemes

Author: Sarah Fletcher
Organisation:
Lewisham Council
SE2 Ltd
Date: 2017
Location: UK

There is substantial evidence that demonstrates a connection between fuel poverty and poor health outcomes, but, despite the existence of numerous programmes designed to alleviate fuel poverty, its levels have not declined significantly. It is known that initiatives have often missed the most vulnerable households, in part because of inadequate data, but also because fuel poverty has multifactorial causes. Much activity is supported by locally based organisations and networks, but over the last decade the government has drastically reduced central funding, thus undermining their ability to

Proiseact Spéird – The Spéird Project: Understanding Influences on Fuel Poverty in Rural and Island Scotland

Author: Dr Keith Baker
Organisation:
Glasgow Caledonian University
Energy Action Scotland
Date: 2016
Location: Scotland

Tackling fuel poverty is a national agenda for both the UK and the devolved Scottish governments. However, current policies are based on assumptions largely derived from urban settings. Furthermore, economies of scale have made energy efficiency schemes more attractive to deliver in large conurbations than in dispersed settlements, which characterise rural areas. Early research has indicated that this is disadvantaging households in rural Scotland, but more detailed data would clarify the position and enable more nuanced policy decisions.

Smart Prepayment and Fuel Poverty

Author: Nicky Hodges
Organisation:
Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE)
Date: 2016
Location: UK

Prepayment meters (PPMs) have traditionally been installed in low-income households and those that have previously incurred arrears or defaulted on their energy bills. However, PPM users have often faced higher charges for energy, as well as a reduced ability to switch supplier and access incentivised payment methods such as direct debit. In 2016, the Competitions and Markets Authority imposed a settlement on energy companies to introduce a fairer approach.  

Investigating a New Way of Delivering Energy to Tackle Fuel Poverty Using Case Studies in Wales and Scotland

Author: Jane Kelly
Organisation:
Bangor University
Date: 2016
Location: Wales

Community energy projects offer significant potential for individual households to access cheaper locally generated and renewable sources of power. There are ostensible benefits with regard to both fuel poverty and environmental sustainability. 

The motives for joining or avoiding such schemes, however, are not well understood. If these factors are better known, scheme designers and managers can seek to include measures to boost membership and address reasons for non-participation. 

How Local Authorities Are Responding to the NICE (2016) Quality Standards Regarding a Single-point-of-contact Approach to Tackling Fuel Poverty – A Case Study of Portsmouth City Council

Author: Katherine Shadwell
Organisation:
University of Sussex
Date: 2016

Fuel poverty is strongly linked to a range of health conditions. Local authorities have been and remain at the forefront of initiatives to tackle fuel poverty in their localities, whether through awareness-raising, grants or their involvement in social housing improvement initiatives. At the same time, much greater emphasis on partnership working has developed. In recent times, local authorities have acquired responsibility for public health matters.  

 

Identifying the Fair Share: Metering and Billing for District Heating – Research into Social Landlords’ Experiences of District Heating

Author: Changeworks Resources for Life Ltd
Organisation:
Changeworks Resources for Life Ltd
Date: 2015

The introduction of the Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014 meant that owners of properties operating district heating schemes were subject to new obligations.

Identifying the Fair Share: Metering and Billing for District Heating – Research into Social Landlords’ Experiences of District Heating

Author: Tessa Clark
Organisation:
Changeworks Resources for Life Ltd
Date: 2015
Location: Scotland

The introduction of the Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014 meant that owners of properties operating district heating schemes were subject to new obligations. It has been assumed that such schemes deliver benefits to residents through reduced energy consumption and lower bills, thus helping to alleviate fuel poverty, but the actual dynamics of tenants’ awareness, knowledge and engagement with the practical and financial aspects of these systems are not fully understood.

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.

Housing of Multiple Occupancy: Energy Issues and Policy

Author: Dr Jenni Viitanen
Organisation:
CURE
University of Manchester
Future Climate
Date: 2014

Houses of multiple occupancy (HMOs) are a niche feature of the property market and are overwhelmingly situated in the private rented sector (PRS), and their tenants often experience multiple forms of vulnerability. As a result, they are at considerable risk of fuel poverty. However, partly because of the particular structure and limited number of HMOs, little attention has been paid by researchers to this type of living arrangement and the implications for energy efficiency and fuel poverty. 

Using Solar PV to Tackle Fuel Poverty

Author: Changeworks
Date: 2014
Location: UK

The use of photovoltaic (PV) systems in domestic properties boomed after the introduction of the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) in 2010. The deployment of solar technologies should see a decline in energy users’ fuel costs (and thus fuel poverty), while property owners (including landlords) should benefit from the income generated by the FIT. The wider context of rising fuel poverty acts as a spur to implement the energy efficiency measures with the greatest impact on consumption.

The Energy Penalty: Disabled People and Fuel Poverty

Author: Mike George
Organisation:
Centre for Consumers and Essential Services
University of Leicester
Date: 2013
Location: UK

Householders with disabilities or long-term limiting illnesses are known to be disproportionately at risk of being out of work, reliant on benefits and on low incomes. In addition, many disabled people use greater than average amounts of domestic energy, which is due to factors such as lower levels of activity and spending more time at home. An environment of rising energy prices and restrictions on benefits is likely to affect such consumers much harder and make domestic energy less affordable.

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.  

Fuel Poverty Social Impact Bonds: Their Potential Role and Associated Challenges

Author: Ian Preston
Organisation:
Centre for Sustainable Energy
Date: 2013

Alleviating fuel poverty requires considerable financial investment, whether from central government, local authorities, landlords or homeowners.

Fuel Poverty and the Re-emergence of Wood as a Sustainable Source of Energy in Fife, Scotland and Beyond

Author: Ivan Delev
Organisation:
University of St Andrews
Date: 2012
Location: Scotland

The growth of fuel poverty has in part been driven by rising energy bills. Alternative fuel sources may provide cheaper and more sustainable options, potentially alleviating fuel poverty. Rural households can face extra challenges in obtaining and paying for mainstream fuel types in comparison with their urban equivalents but may also have particular advantages when it comes to accessing alternative fuel sources.

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.  

Too Many Hurdles: Information and Advice Barriers in the Energy Market

Author: Mike George
Organisation:
Centre for Consumers and Essential Services
University of Leicester
Date: 2011
Location: UK

The domestic energy market is heterogeneous and complex in terms of both suppliers and consumers. This means that ensuring the appropriate advice and guidance reach the relevant consumers is a challenge, but the dynamics are not understood in detail. This is essential if better policies and practice are to be developed, particularly for the proportion of consumers who are deemed to be vulnerable. It is also highly relevant for a number of reasons.

Costs of the ECO: the impact on fuel poverty

Date: 2011
Location: UK

Historically, government initiatives to support the UK to move towards a low carbon environment have been resourced through levies on energy companies, which, in turn, have passed on the cost to consumers in the form of higher bills (referred to as ‘cost pass-through’). The introduction of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO), planned for 2013, is intended to provide the finance for the Green Deal and other core fuel poverty programmes. Like earlier schemes, the costs may be transferred to energy consumers, but the nature of such impact is unknown.

Tackling Fuel Poverty in the Private Rented Sector Using the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)

Author: Impetus Consulting and National Energy Action
Date: 2011
Location: UK

Local authorities possess significant powers of inspection and enforcement over rented accommodation within their boundaries, which have been enhanced by legislation over the past 20 years (e.g. the Housing Act 2004). At the same time, tackling fuel poverty has become an important agenda for councils.

Costs of the ECO: The Impact on Low Income Households

Author: Association for the Conservation of Energy (ACE)
Date: 2011
Location: UK

Historically, government initiatives to support the UK to move towards low-carbon energy have been resourced through levies on energy companies, which, in turn, have passed on the cost to consumers in the form of higher bills (referred to as ‘cost pass-through’). The introduction of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO), which is planned for 2013, is intended to provide the finance for the Green Deal and other core fuel poverty programmes. As with earlier schemes, the costs may be transferred to energy consumers, but the impacts of this are under-researched.

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’.

Energy Poverty in Urban Africa – A Case Study of the Energy Needs of the Urban Poor in Lagos and Ibadan, Nigeria

Author: Olubusola Olatoregun
Organisation:
Imperial College London
Date: 2007
Location: Africa

Africa, like many parts of the developing world, is undergoing rapid urbanisation. As cities grow, their energy needs increase, but many of the urban poor remain without access to energy infrastructures. Previous studies of development have indicated that wider energy provision is associated with improved socioeconomic inclusion. Nigeria exemplifies some of the key issues facing African nations, namely, a rapidly growing population, a large gulf between rich and poor sections of the population, an unstable energy supply and weak infrastructure.  

Tackling the Health Implications of Cold and Damp Housing in Scotland

Author: Trevor Davison (employment and training consultant)
Organisation:
Co-funded by NHS Education for Scotland and NHS Health Scotland
Date: 2004
Location: Scotland

In 2003, Davison had produced ‘Tackling the Health Implications of Cold and Damp Housing in Scotland – A Training Resource’, which was funded by Eaga Charitable Trust and supported by NHS Education for Scotland and NHS Health Scotland. This educational resource was aimed at raising awareness among frontline health workers in Scotland of the impact of cold and damp housing and enabling them to offer advice and guidance to clients

Affordable Warmth in ‘Hard to Heat’ Homes: A Progress Report

Author: Jacky Pett
Organisation:
Association for the Conservation of Energy (ACE)
Date: 2004
Location: UK

A significant number of domestic properties in the UK are classed as ‘hard to heat’. These are often older, solid wall houses, which present particular challenges for retrofit and other energy conservation measures. Earlier studies have outlined the nature of the problem and proposed ways forward. The introduction of the UK Fuel Poverty Strategy in 2001 and improved awareness of the issues surrounding hard-to-heat housing have generated an increased focus on this challenge.

Advice into Action – An Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Energy Advice to Low-income Households

Author: Julia Green
Organisation:
Energy Inform Ltd.
Environmental Change Unit
University of Oxford Environmental Change Unit
University of Oxford)
Date: 1998

A wide variety of services now offer energy advice to members of the public, from energy suppliers to social housing providers. Improving domestic energy efficiency and reducing fuel poverty are core objectives of such provision, but in order to assess whether this advice is having a positive impact on households it is important that such initiatives should be subjected to robust evaluation. Such appraisals are also valuable for identifying examples of good practice, which can be promoted across the sector.

Fuel Poverty in Northern Ireland

Author: Brian Harvey
Organisation:
National Energy Action Northern Ireland
Date: 1997
Location: Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland operates a devolved government administration and has developed variations of housing and energy policies that are distinct from those in other UK regions. Even before this, housing strategies developed along unique pathways. Therefore, policies designed on the basis of evidence from other parts of the UK or beyond may not be appropriate for Northern Ireland and their approaches may not be relevant.

Literacy, Numeracy and Social Exclusion: Links to Fuel Poverty and Energy Efficiency

Author: Linda Lennard

The success of programmes designed to improve energy efficiency and address fuel poverty can depend to a large extent on the ability of beneficiaries to comprehend the information being presented to them. As a significant segment of the UK population possess only very limited literacy and numeracy skills, there is a risk that many people are not being reached by much of the promotional literature, energy advice, operating instructions and other relevant material provided as part of fuel poverty and energy efficiency initiatives.

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