National Energy Action Annual Conference & Exhibition
4-6 December 2023, Leicester Tigers Stadium

Energy crisis: two years in

Conference programme

 Please note the agenda will be updated as we invite and confirm speakers and subjects.

Monday 4 December


Drinks reception, buffet and exhibition opening (included in delegate fee)

  • Cllr Sarah Russell, Deputy City Mayor, Leicester City

Tuesday 5 December



  • Adam Scorer, Chief Executive, National Energy Action
  • Amanda Solloway, Minister for Energy Consumers and Affordability, Department for Energy Security and Net Zero


Where are we on the energy crisis two years in?

The session will investigate the impact of the energy crisis, two years in. It will explore the theme by hearing from people affected, about the impacts on frontline organisations and subject experts on the impact of debt, the impact on renters, the impact on householders with long-term health conditions and disabilities and the impact on children.

  • Adam Scorer, Chief Executive, National Energy Action (chair)
  • Grace Brownfield, Money Advice Trust (video) 
  • Michelle O’Neil, Development Support Officer, NSPCC
  • Louise Rubin, Head of Policy, Scope
  • Ros Kane, Fuel Bank Foundation


Break. Exhibition viewing. Refreshments available (included in delegate fee)


What does the crisis tell us about next steps on fuel poverty?

Launch of National Energy Action’s Fuel Poverty Monitor 2022-23, including UK-wide perspectives from across the nations and new analysis on the benefits of meeting fuel poverty comments.

  • Peter Smith, Director of Policy and Advocacy, National Energy Action (Chair)
  • Anna Quincey, Economic Analyst, Gemserv, Low Carbon Business Unit
  • Ben Saltmarsh, Head of Wales, National Energy Action Cymru
  • Pat Austin, Director Northern Ireland, National Energy Action
  • Frazer Scott, Chief Executive Officer of Energy Action Scotland


Lunch (included in delegate fee)



A) Making energy markets fairer and more affordable for vulnerable households

Energy regulator Ofgem announced that energy debt reached £2.6 billion – its highest ever level. The session will provide an update on recent developments in the energy market (across GB and NI). It will explore which outstanding areas need to be prioritised to lead to fairer and more affordable outcomes for low income and vulnerable consumers.

  • Adam Scorer, Chief Executive, National Energy Action
  • John French, Chief Executive, Northern Ireland Utility Regulator
  • Gareth Wood, Vice President of Operations, OVO
  • Naomi Schraer, Senior Policy Researcher, Citizens Advice
  • Cathryn Scott, Director of Enforcement and Emerging Issues, Ofgem
  • Paul McCloghrie, Department for Energy Security and Net Zero

B) Warmer and more affordable to heat: Warm Homes Fund lessons learnt

The session will share findings of the Warm Homes Fund (WHF), set up by National Grid and community interest company, Affordable Warmth Solutions. The evaluation was led by Newcastle University, NEA, and Energy Audit Company, who together comprise the WHF programme evaluation consortium. The session will highlight the social and economic benefits of the programme and how support aimed to reach households most in need.

  • Jeremy Nesbitt, Managing Director, Affordable Warmth Solutions
  • Dr Gareth Powells, Senior Lecturer, Newcastle University
  • Helen Stockton, Head of Research, National Energy Action
  • James Sommerville, Policy and Partnerships Director, Agility Eco 

C) Helping households maximise income: Addressing the impact of negative budgets and low awareness of benefit entitlements

Income maximisation advice such as benefit checks and form filling (i.e. Personal Independence Payments, Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance etc) can lead to those with a low-income accessing entitlements that can help with the soaring cost of living. This session will explore the benefits of helping households maximise their incomes and the challenges people face navigating a complex system.

  • Peter Sumby, Director of Communities, National Energy Action (Chair)
  • Linda Tookey, Money Advice and Benefits Manager, Vivid Homes
  • Earl Richards, Regional Technical Manager, Services Beyond the Meter, Cadent
  • Rob Sandalls, Utilities and Telecoms Manager, Stepchange
  • Nye Gordon, Director, Sia Partners


Break. Exhibition viewing. Refreshments available. (Included in delegate fee)


Will a General Election help or hinder fuel poor households?

A General Election could be held next year. As well as being an opportunity to secure ambitious manifesto commitments, it could create a policy hiatus when the energy crisis means low-income and vulnerable households face pressing challenges. This session will include political insights on how fuel poor households may be impacted by the prospect of a General Election. It will also showcase the benefits of working together to bring about positive political commitments to end fuel poverty.

  • Adam Scorer, Chief Executive, National Energy Action
  • Chris Venables, Deputy Director of Politics and Partnerships, Green Alliance
  • Simon Francis, End Fuel Poverty Coalition
  • Caroline Flint, Chair, Committee on Fuel Poverty

7.00pm – till late (venue closes 1.00am): Conference dinner in Leicester. Informal buffet dinner for all conference delegates. Kindly sponsored by OVO. This event is included in the conference fee but you must select it on your conference booking form to ensure you receive a ticket for entrance.

Wednesday 6 December 


Rob Howard, Director of Public Health, Leicester City Council and National Energy Action Trustee

The direct health impacts of cold homes are getting worse. Many households need to use more energy to run medical equipment at home, but are being forced to ration or stop using it altogether. Others are running up unmanageable debt so that they can keep the heating on, causing a devastating impact on mental health. This session will explore the physical and mental health impacts the energy crisis is having and how charities, public health officials, local authorities and the health sector can work together to help put an end to a cycle of hospital admission, discharge and readmission within health services, or even premature deaths.


Breakout Workshops

A) Working with marginalised and underserved communities: creating and delivering inclusive services

Many communities continue to face barriers to engaging with advice and mainstream services. Our recent work with digitally excluded households and the Gypsy and Traveller community highlighted that programmes of support often miss these households, leaving them more vulnerable to the impacts of high energy costs. It is essential that we build a more inclusive focus to policy design and evaluation.  

This session will hear from experts working within marginalised communities to better understand some of the barriers. It will consider how we improve accessibility to advice and support, and will showcase initiatives that aim to meet these challenges and ensure services and national policies are much more accessible.

  • Danni Barnes, Director of Development and Partnerships, National Energy Action
  • Carol Linton, Energy Co-ordinator, Croydon BME Forum
  • Mickey Reedy, Customer Support Officer, North Paddington Foodbank
  • Dawn Hewitson, Accrington Blind Society
  • Laura Beesley, Local Authority Coordinator, National Energy Action

B) Warm Homes, Healthy Futures

This session will go beyond the well-established evidence base that now unquestionably demonstrates the links between cold homes and poor health and well-being. Instead, it will draw on cross-sectoral expertise and the experiences of organisations that have delivered health and housing services and programmes. We will consider key aspects of work on housing and health such as data sharing, partnerships with the health sector, strategy development and sharing best practice as well as health improvement in the context of the net zero.

  • Danielle Butler, Senior Research and Policy Officer, National Energy Action
  • Bill Purvis, Programme Manager, Derbyshire Healthy Homes
  • James Perry, Director, egnida Innovation
  • Kate de Selincourt, Writer and Editor, Sustainability and Energy
  • Leah Steadman, Research and Policy Manager, Marie Curie

C) Retrofitting Fuel Poor Homes: How can we go further and faster?

This session explores retrofit on a number of projects including the lessons learnt by NEA from replacing failed external wall insulation at Fishwick, Lancashire.

  • Colin Timmins, Director of Homes, National Energy Action
  • Dr Jim Parker, Reader and Head of Sustainable Urban Environments, Leeds Sustainability Institute
  • Mark Norcliffe, Contracts Manager, Seddon Construction 
  • Miranda Cumberbatch, Chief Executive Officer, Nottingham Energy Partnership


Break. Refreshments available (included in conference fee)


National Energy Action’s priorities for this winter and beyond

  • Danni Barnes, Director of Development and Partnerships, National Energy Action


Awards presentation and conference close

  • Adam Scorer, Chief Executive, National Energy Action
  • Claire Durkin, Chair, National Energy Action


Lunch (included in delegate fee). Close of conference

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