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. 

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.  

 

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: 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.

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.

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.

Development of Hemp–Clay Composites to Be Used in an Innovative Internal Lining Panel with a Specific Investigation into the Effect of Fine Hemp Shiv on Hygrothermal Performance

Author: Tom Robinson
Organisation:
Graduate School of the Environment
Centre for Alternative Technology
Wales
Date: 2014

Retrofitting has become an increasingly popular way of improving the energy efficiency of buildings as a pathway to reducing carbon emissions and fuel bills.

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.

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 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.

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. 

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.

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.  

Effect of Improved Home Ventilation on Asthma Control and House Dust Mite Allergen Levels

Author: Dr Stirling Howieson
Organisation:
University of Strathclyde
Date: 2013
Location: UK

The number of better insulated, warmer and more humid homes has increased substantially over the past few decades in developed nations. At the same time, growing levels of asthma have been identified among their populations. It is known that allergens produced by domestic dust mites are a contributory factor to asthma and that these mites thrive in warm and humid environments. As a consequence, solutions to minimise mite levels while retaining warmth would have valuable health benefits.

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.  

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

Our Warm Community – A Report on Tackling Fuel Poverty through a Holistic Community Approach, Focusing on Small Social Housing Providers

Author: Blooming Green and Impetus Consulting
Date: 2011

Social landlords have been targeted by a number of government policies designed to improve housing conditions, tackle fuel poverty and increase energy efficiency. Their implementation is largely top-down, with residents encouraged to take up opportunities through awareness-raising, tenant engagement schemes and incentives to modify behaviour. Yet fuel poverty continues to rise, while at the same time budgets are shrinking.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 Effect of the Affordable Warmth Programme on Internal Environmental Variables and Respiratory Health in a Vulnerable Group: A Randomised Trial

Author: Dr Liesl Osman
Organisation:
University of Aberdeen
Aberdeen City Council
Aberdeen Royal Infirmary
Castlehill Housing Association
Date: 2007
Location: Scotland

Living in a poorly heated, damp home is known to place householders at risk of developing ill health. Those with pre-existing conditions, particularly respiratory illnesses, can experience aggravations of their symptoms and an increased likelihood of mortality. However, there is a paucity of information on the energy performance of the homes of such people and the exact relationship between their heating arrangements, health status and other variables. 

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.  

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.

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.

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.

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

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.  

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.

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.

The Development of the Affordable Warmth Index

Author: National Energy Services Ltd
Organisation:
Co-funded by the Energy Saving Trust
Date: 1999

‘Affordable warmth’ is a term widely used in the energy sector, yet, given the wide variety of property types and sizes, incomes and locations, measuring what is affordable for a given household is a complex process.

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.

 

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.

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.

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 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. 

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.

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.

Warmth Without Waste

Author: East Essex Adult Community College
Date: 1997

Many participants on basic skills courses are from low-income households and are at greater risk of fuel poverty. For that reason, they are a prime target for advice and guidance on managing their energy use, reducing fuel costs and how to access efficiency measures. However, the current curricula and teaching materials do not offer any opportunity to learn more about these topics.

Billsavers – Securing the Savings

Author: Lothian and Edinburgh Environmental Partnership
Date: 1996
Location: Scotland

Many low-income households are also in fuel poverty and fuel debt. They can often face the conundrum of needing to reduce the amount they spend on domestic energy while at the same time being unable to afford the cost of installations that would potentially achieve the necessary savings. However, if funding to carry out such work can be justified, this challenge may be overcome.

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).

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.

The Nottingham Energy, Health and Housing Study: A Demonstration Project to Reduce Humidity, House Dust Mites and Asthma

Author: Roger Critchley
Organisation:
Health and Housing Group National Energy Action Nottingham The Bartlett
University College London

A prevalence of dust mites and mould in domestic properties is known to aggravate the symptoms of asthma. Therefore, measures to alleviate the conditions that allow mites to thrive (e.g. high humidity) should have a beneficial impact on the health of asthmatics. Many energy efficiency interventions achieve this, although this is often an unplanned, albeit useful, side effect of work aimed at reducing energy consumption and wastage. Some interventions may even increase the problem: by reducing ventilation, for example.

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