Homes Fit for Study – Research into Student Experiences of Energy in the Private Rented Sector

Author: National Union of Students (NUS)
Date: 2018

There is a long-standing and commonly held view that much of the private housing stock offered to students is of substandard quality in terms of maintenance, comfort and facilities and is often located in poorer neighbourhoods where properties are generally in an inferior condition. Nonetheless, there has been little research to understand the extent and nature of fuel poverty among this population, how it affects various aspects of their lives, or how it may be remedied. 

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. 

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.

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.

Fuel Poverty Measurement in Europe – A Pilot Study

Author: Harriet Thomson
Organisation:
University of York
Date: 2014
Location: Europe

Earlier research has indicated that some EU Member States have developed a more advanced awareness of fuel poverty than others. Furthermore, a standardised framework for measuring fuel poverty across the Union has yet to exist. As a result, a comprehensive picture of the issue of fuel poverty is hindered by inferior measurement, patchy data and an underdeveloped understanding of the concept in many countries. Nevertheless, early reviews highlight examples of good practice.

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.

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.

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.

Fuel Poverty Perspectives: “You Just Have to Get By” – Coping with Low Incomes and Cold Homes

Author: Will Anderson
Organisation:
Centre for Sustainable Energy
University of Bristol Personal Finance Research Centre
Date: 2010

Determining whether households are fuel poor has often been reduced to a quantitative exercise based on income calculations. While some form of benchmark is undoubtedly necessary in order to target activity effectively, the actual experience of living in cold homes requires more recognition in the debate. Recognising people’s strategies for using energy and keeping warm and understanding their own opinions and knowledge of the choices open to them are important because this information is vital in fully maximising the potential of scheme design. 

Using solar PV to tackle fuel poverty

Author: Changeworks
Organisation:
Changeworks
Date: 2010
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 energy users’ fuel costs (and thus fuel poverty) declining, 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 select those energy efficiency measures with the greatest impact on consumption.

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.

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.

Evaluating and Improving Energy Efficiency Grant Leaflet Information for the Elderly Fuel Poor

Author: Amanda Palmer
Organisation:
Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development
De Montfort University
Date: 2008
Location: Scotland

The success or failure of energy efficiency schemes directed at domestic consumers depends in large part on effective marketing. Previous evidence has indicated relatively low take-up of such schemes among older people, who form households with some of the highest levels of fuel poverty.

Seasonal Cold, Thermal Behaviour and Temperature Distributions in the Homes of Older People

Author: Dr James Goodwin
Organisation:
School of Health and Social Care
University of Teesside
Date: 2005
Location: UK

There is a significant gap in knowledge of the winter activities of older people, both inside and outside the home. This is despite the fact that previous research has recognised that many older people continue to live in fuel poverty and that excess winter deaths disproportionately affect this section of the population. Understanding the types and levels of activity and their relationships to warmth, heating systems and temperature (both inside and outside) has considerable importance not only for energy research and the energy sector, but also for health and social care.

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.

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.

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. 

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.  

Gas and Electricity Competition… Who Benefits?

Author: William Baker
Organisation:
Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE)
Co-funded by Transco
Centrica
Scottish Power
Ofgem and the Electricity Association
Date: 1999
Location: UK

Full liberalisation of the UK gas markets occurred in 1998, preceded by a pilot phase operating in South West England from 1996. Research into the impact of competition on low-income households during the pilot stage demonstrated that certain groups – households using prepayment meters and those without bank accounts or wanting to pay in cash, plus consumers with special needs – were losing out. In 1999, the electricity markets were fully opened to competition.

Fuel Poverty and Health in Paisley

Author: Chris Revie
Organisation:
Energy Action Scotland
Date: 1999
Location: Scotland

Large-scale literature reviews (Ambrose et al., 1996) and specific studies appear to have confirmed that poor housing and poor health have a close relationship and that improving housing conditions has a positive effect (Green, 1997; Collins, 1999; Wilkinson, 1999). However, establishing a causal link remains challenging, in part because of the large number of variables to account for. It may also be the case that the health-led nature of previous research has not fully appreciated the complexities of some of the housing inputs.

 

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.

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. 

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.

Lilybank – Tackling Fuel Poverty

Author: Ludmilla Kosmina
Organisation:
Heatwise Services
Alembic Research
Date: 1995
Location: Scotland

Large-scale retrofit programmes have occurred in social housing stock across the UK. Comprehensive modelling of the potential benefits to residents before work commences is important for our understanding of what are the optimal interventions under different conditions (such as building type and history, geographical location and residents’ socioeconomic status).

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