July 2016 | Aimee Ambrose, Christopher Damm, Michael Foden, Jan Gilbertson, James Pinder
Reports commissioned by the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater): Living with Water Poverty (Creative Research, 2014) and Water Matters (Allen, 2015), revealed that whilst more affordability assistance is now available to water customers who may be struggling to afford their water bills, awareness of the support on offer remains low. This is particularly the case for vulnerable and hard to reach groups who are arguably the most in need of this support (Creative Research, 2014). In light of these on-going challenges, CCWater is eager to identify good practice – from both within and outside of the water sector – in relation to increasing the reach and targeting of affordability assistance. To this end, the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research was appointed to undertake an evidence review.
Authors: Michael Hamer (NEA); Paul Cartwright (NEA)
Published: June 2015
(Redacted version to remove all funder and locality references). The purpose of this project was to evaluate the effectiveness of new electric boilers (Amptec C1200 electric boiler, manufactured by Heatrae Sadia) installed in a housing estate in central England. The project studied 10 households and evaluated the cost associated with the boilers in comparison to the previous heating system and compared to expected costs of using a system fuelled by mains gas, along with the householders understanding of the electric heating system.
Authors: Charlie Wilson, Lucy Crane, George Chryssochoidis (University of East Anglia)
Published: June 2015
This paper contrasts two perspectives on energy efficient home renovations from applied behavioural research on energy efficiency and from sociological research on homes and domestic life. Applied behavioural research characterises drivers and barriers to cost-effective renovations, and identifies per- sonal and contextual influences on homeowners’ renovation decisions. Research findings inform policies to promote energy efficiency by removing barriers or strengthening decision influences. Sociological research on domestic life points to limitations in this understanding of renovation decision making that emphasises houses but not homes, energy efficiency but not home improvements, the one-off but not the everyday, and renovations but not renovating. The paper proposes a situated approach in response to this critique. A situated approach retains a focus on renovation decision making, but conceptualises decisions as processes that emerge from the conditions of everyday domestic life and are subject to different levels of influence
Prepared by Juliette Burroughs (NEA) for Department of Energy and Climate Change
Published: April 2015
NEA undertook this research with DECC to better understand levels of activity at a local level to target individuals with health problems for energy efficiency measures and other fuel poverty interventions. The catalogue presented information collected from an online survey on 75 health-related fuel poverty schemes. Each scheme is recorded as a separate catalogue entry and includes information about the scheme on: services provided; household profile (including any health conditions the scheme targets); health sector involvement (types of health bodies and/or healthcare professionals involved in helping to implement the scheme); health referrals; funding; data-sharing; challenges and successes; and evaluation (if the scheme has been evaluated). Complementing the catalogue entries are 19 case studies profiling in greater detail schemes from the catalogue with particularly robust health targeting/links with the health sector.
Cutting the cost of keeping warm for families with children: Understanding the impact of payment methods on energy rationing practices
Authors: Helen Stockton, Luke Garrett (NEA)
Published: April 2015
The aim of this research was to explore and understand better the impact of different energy payment methods on the energy use and rationing practices of low-income families with children; and in particular households that use PPM versus those that do not.
Citizens Advice were concerned that consumers in vulnerable situations could miss out on potential benefits of the £11 billion smart meter rollout, which they will be helping to fund through their energy bills. With this in mind Citizens Advice commissioned research from NEA to learn from other schemes that have helped vulnerable consumers through change. The resultant research was designed to help delivery partners shape their plans, answer questions such as how to define vulnerability, the importance of choice, and the role of different communication channels.
September 2014 | Authors: NEA & Citizens Advice
Research undertaken by NEA for Citizens Advice
Published: September 2014
Following two years of prior research on behalf of DECC, NEA’s report for Citizens Advice explored the potential for an extra help scheme to be provided to vulnerable (including low income) consumers for the smart meter rollout. The report found that suppliers were well placed to deliver a more tailored experience for vulnerable consumers during the rollout and NEA engaged with a range of parties to establish some practical options for suppliers to develop and trial dedicated pathways for their vulnerable customers. The report also noted how to enhance supplier coordination with DNOs and assessed the costs and benefits of these approaches. NEA also produced a low cost calculator tool to highlight the merits of joining up delivery of the smart meters with low cost energy saving measures.
Author: Helen Stockton (NEA) for Department of Energy and Climate Change
Published: April 2014
This research study was undertaken during 2013-14, a period of flux and adjustment in fuel poverty and domestic energy policy. While new energy efficiency and fuel poverty programmes, specifically the Green Deal and new Energy Company Obligation (ECO), have the potential to radically improve the heating and insulation standards of the nation’s housing stock, they have fundamentally altered the policy landscape. The most significant shift has been the replacement of the only government-funded fuel poverty programme in England by a levy-based programme. In addition, fuel poverty programmes have arguably become more dispersed and less coordinated than under the previous Warm Front programme.
Authors: Michael Hamer (NEA), Paul Cartwright (NEA)
Published: March 2014
A study on the availability of ECO funded external insulation systems for improving the building standards of residential park homes in England and its applicability on two existing residential sites.
Authors: Michael Hamer (NEA), Paul Cartwright (NEA) for Aragon Housing Association
Published: March 2014
With increasing volatility in energy process for off gas communities, and increasing concern for rural [off gas] tenants, Aragon decided to trial the deployment of air source heat pumps in a range of properties as an alternative to the traditional approaches of electric storage, oil and solid fuel heating systems.
Eight households with air source heat pumps and two households without have been monitored. Telephone and face-to-face questionnaires, logging of electrical consumption, and temperature and humidity together with energy consumption and bill analysis both before and after installation of ASHPs have all been used to draw conclusions.