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Future Directions for Fuel Poverty Research: A Delphi Study

Author: Graeme Sherriff
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 

Low-carbon Heat and Rural Fuel Poverty: Lessons from across Europe

Author: Jennifer Hannam
Community Energy Plus
Date: 2017
Location: Europe

The UK is performing poorly in terms of carbon emissions reduction and the delivery of renewable heat infrastructures in comparison with other EU Member States. In general, most extant guidance and policy on delivering low-carbon  infrastructures have focused on urban settings. This is partly because it is envisaged that the density of properties in such settings will lead to higher aggregate carbon savings than in other locations.

Policy Heterogeneity in Fuel Poverty Alleviation: A Comparative Analysis of Germany and the United Kingdom

Author: Andreas Schneller
London School of Economics and Political Science
Date: 2015
Location: UK

Fuel poverty is recognised by researchers as a major challenge for European citizens and their governments. However, individual countries have given the topic different levels of recognition, priority and resources on both an academic and a policy level. Comparisons between countries have been rare in the literature to date and may offer a valuable perspective.

The Energy Penalty: Disabled People and Fuel Poverty

Author: Mike George
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.

Ideological Alleviants: A Comparative Analysis of Fuel Poverty Policy

Author: Susan Dodd
University of York
Date: 2012
Location: International

Fuel poverty has become a recognised concept in the UK, and a growing body of research is dedicated to aspects of this issue. However, the subject remains relatively undeveloped in many other nations, with little awareness or discussion, even though activities that would be characterised in the UK as fuel poverty alleviation are often undertaken. There is no international platform for discussing policy and practice, nor is there any comparative research beyond the EU that seeks to relate the contexts and approaches in different countries. 

Cold and Poor: An Analysis of the Link between Fuel Poverty and Low Income

Author: Guy Palmer
New Policy Institute
Date: 2008

It is widely accepted that a close association exists between low income and fuel poverty and that policies designed to raise (or maximise) income and tackle poverty will benefit fuel poor households. Nonetheless, the exact relationships are not well known. Current policy on fuel poverty primarily focuses on energy efficiency measures, with little consideration of the role of income, while anti-poverty strategies largely omit fuel poverty. This has significant implications for future approaches, particularly so at a time when charges for domestic fuel are increasing rapidly. 

Energy Ratings and Affordability in Social Housing in Scotland and Northern Ireland

Author: Bill Wilkinson
Energy Audit Company
Date: 2007
Location: Scotland

If national targets for reducing fuel poverty are to be met, ensuring a significant improvement in the energy efficiency of the UK’s social housing stock is vital. The introduction of the Decent Homes Standard and Scottish Housing Quality Standard offered a major opportunity to achieve this. Technically robust, standardised common measurement frameworks will enable housing associations to compare their performance. An earlier work (EAGA40) had developed a toolkit for England and Wales, but the different contexts of Scotland and Northern Ireland required a modified approach. 

Links between Fuel Poverty, Basic Skills and Access Deprivation

Author: Helen Beck
ESRC Research Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion
London School of Economics)
Date: 2004

Evidence suggests that there is a strong correlation between fuel poverty and low skills and also access deprivation. Households in fuel poverty are also more likely to be on low incomes, reside in rural areas and have inferior access to financial instruments (e.g. credit) and general amenities such as shops and transport (phenomena known as access deprivation and multiple access deprivation).

A Review of English Local Authority Fuel Poverty Reports and Strategies

Author: Impetus Consulting and the Association for the Conservation of Energy
Date: 2003

The growing importance of tackling fuel poverty at a national level has been reflected in a number of ways, including the development of legislation (e.g. the Warm Homes and Energy Conservation Act 2000) and major policy initiatives such as the Fuel Poverty Strategy, as well as large-scale government investment in energy efficiency schemes such as Warm Front and Warm Zones. As part of this, since 2000 local authorities in England have been required to report their progress to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) on an annual basis by virtue of their designation as 

Rural Fuel Poverty – Defining a Research Agenda

Author: William Baker
Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE)
Date: 2002
Location: UK

In 2001, Eaga Charitable Trust (CT) and the CSE held a national conference on rural fuel poverty. Following on from this, EAGA CT commissioned the CSE to undertake a review of the subject.

Methods of Paying for Fuel – A Good Practice Guide

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

Low-income households are often placed at a disadvantage when paying for the energy they consume. Owing to limited or unstable income and debt, many cannot access the full range of payment methods suppliers offer to customers. Furthermore, they are often restricted to options such as prepayment meters, which charge more for fuel, compounding the effect of reduced choice.  

The Impact of Fuel Poverty and Housing Conditions on Scotland's Health – A Review of Available Literature

Author: Chris Revie
Energy Action Scotland
Date: 1998
Location: Scotland

Scotland has particular challenges when it comes to tackling fuel poverty, housing and health. Although considerable amounts of research have been conducted in Scotland and the UK as a whole, a general summary has not been produced. Such an overview would enable an awareness of the current state of knowledge and allow future work to be targeted more effectively.

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

Author: Julia Green
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.

Energy Efficiency Advice: Provision by Fuel Suppliers

Author: National Energy Action (NEA)
Date: 1997
Location: UK

Firms supplying gas and electricity to UK households are obliged by law to provide customers with energy efficiency advice and have clear codes of practice outlining their offer. As a consequence, suppliers are among the main providers of energy advice, and, since the liberalisation of the energy markets in the 1990s, the number of suppliers has increased, expanding the range of advice materials. Previous research revealed widespread inadequacies in the quality of advice services and limited value for customers.

Making Cold Homes Warmer – The Effect of Energy Efficiency Improvements in Low-income Homes

Author: Geoffrey Milne
Environmental Change Unit
University of Oxford
Date: 1997
Location: UK

Domestic energy efficiency improvements are undertaken with the intention of reducing energy demand and consumption, since less fuel is needed to heat the house to a comfortable level. In doing so, it is assumed that this will reduce the amount households spend on fuel and deliver more affordable warmth. However, some of the ‘gains’ may be offset by a general increase in internal temperatures following improvements as householders use the monetary savings to fund warmer homes, a phenomenon known as ‘temperature takeback’.

Fuel Poverty, Energy Efficiency and Health

Author: Melanie Henwood
Date: 1997

Although a significant body of work has developed on the relationships between cold, inefficient and damp homes and poor health, no detailed overview has been produced. As major investment and strategic policy on tackling fuel poverty gather pace in the UK, it is essential to have a clear insight into the main themes emerging from this research in order to shape and influence national and local approaches and also to identify future research priorities.


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