This year’s UKFPM identifies the opportunities associated with decarbonising heat for fuel poor households; the barriers they face in doing so; the likely risks of the decarbonisation agenda for them;
the value of transparency, in terms of how energy policies are paid for; and which policy developments and interventions are required to ensure that the decarbonisation of domestic heating can be fair and
affordable. It seeks to highlight the actions that must be taken if fuel poor households are to be the first to benefit from the decarbonisation of the way we heat our homes.
Through a Call for Evidence (CfE), which gained responses from 122 respondents covering the breadth of the UK, and wider engagement with stakeholders, we have considered the opportunities, impacts and barriers for fuel poor households of decarbonising their homes. To further inform our research, we interviewed representatives from governments, regulators, and consumer advocacy groups to understand their views on the links between decarbonisation and fuel poverty.
We also conducted interviews with households that NEA has supported with decarbonising their heating to understand more about their experiences. The barriers and benefits they encountered are incorporated into this report in the form of three case studies, each of which tells the real-life story of a household that has tried to decarbonise their home – but with mixed results and from which several lessons must be learnt.
Decarbonising heat is essential for fuel poor households. It is needed to mitigate against climate change and to reduce the level of climate risk for fuel poor households. The direct opportunities for fuel poor households could also be substantial. There are significant financial savings on offer if decarbonisation is done in the right way. Overall, 83% of the stakeholders who responded to our CfE noted the opportunity to create more affordable and manageable energy bills at the same time as decarbonising fuel poor homes by improving energy efficiency. In turn, stakeholders said this would lead to warmer homes, with healthier occupants and thriving communities.