Authors: Charlie Wilson, George Chryssochoidis, Hazel Pettifor (University of East Anglia)
Published: October 2013
In October 2011, the VERD project team at the University of East Anglia began a two-year research project investigating homeowners’ renovation decisions. This report summarises the findings, revealing why homeowners renovate and why they decide to improve their home energy efficiency. The findings summarised here are based on data collected from homeowners in three ways: a national survey; interviews; stated preferences for renovation alternatives. The findings also build on an extensive review of published articles and reports on home renovations. The data collected allowed the VERD team to answer the following questions: (1) Why do homeowners first start thinking about renovations? (2) How do homeowners decide to renovate? And why do they include energy-efficiency measures? (3) What value propositions are attractive to renovating homeowners? And what role might the Green Deal play?
Authors: NEA Technical Team
Published: June 2013
The focus of this project is the evaluation of the social impact of air source heat pumps in two rural offgas grid communities. Worksop – fitted with Mitsubishi ECOdan units – 10 households evaluated Macclesfield – fitted with Husky PWR units – 6 households evaluated. Within the sample of properties evaluated, 12 properties had previously been heated by electric storage heaters, 2 with solid fuel heating systems, 1 with an oil fired boiler and 1 using an electric boiler.
Authors: Harriet Thomson, Carolyn Snell and Mark Bevan for the Department of Social Policy and Social Work and the Centre for Housing Policy at the University of York
Published: March 2013
The Department of Social Policy and Social Work and the Centre for Housing Policy at the University of York have been awarded a grant by eaga Charitable Trust to investigate the relationship between fuel poverty and disability. This first project deliverable considers the relationship between different indicators of disability and long term illness (self reported, state defined, and types of reported disability and illness), different measures of fuel poverty (the ‘official’ full income version, and the often used basic income version), and a range of other factors typically associated with the prevalence of fuel poverty.
Authors: Helen Stockton, Deborah Harrison and Joanna Alan (NEA) for Department of Energy and Climate Change
Published: March 2013
This report presents the results from a second phase of research undertaken as part of a wider programme of activity aligned to the activities and objectives of the Age Action Alliance (AAA). This wider project aimed to examine and identify the ways by which older people can be engaged and supported to take advantage of new energy efficiency and fuel poverty programmes and how service providers already supporting older people can also be supported to help achieve this.
Author: University of Ulster
Published: December 2012
In 2010, the Utility Regulator in Northern Ireland commissioned a team to lead the region’s first Smart Meter Trial. Unlike all other Trials (which recruit a cast of thousands) this Trial focused on 56 lower-income customers who were vulnerable to the impacts of living in fuel poverty. This is a group whose needs have, thus far, been somewhat neglected in Smart Meter Trials. Given that almost half (42%) of Northern Ireland’s households were in fuel poverty at the last official estimate (NIHE, 2011), this was an issue of particular local interest. The team explored how best to assist this customer base in gaining confidence and expertise when working with a new Smart meter and its companion in-house display (IHD). Through a variety of noninvasive interventions, many of them based on recommendations for best practice, the Trial was able to document both the needs and competences of this important group.
Published: April 2012
NEA undertook a programme of research to identify the types of advice required to inform vulnerable households about the Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and, importantly, empower them to act. This work included an analysis of the range of methods currently adopted when delivering advice to vulnerable groups and the rationale for more carefully considered or individually tailored advice services for these groups. This work also provided examples of high-level interventions to help overcome these challenges.
Authors: NEA on behalf of NIBE, Mitsubishi and Daikin
Published: April 2012
The number of ‘off gas’ properties is much higher in rural areas than urban, with the problem increasing as settlements become more dispersed. Households without gas have to rely on more expensive fuels. Estimates from 2008 suggest that households off the gas network face typical energy bills of £1,700 per annum against £1,000 for those with mains gas. Air source heat pumps (ASHP) can effectively address rural fuel poverty. This is because, compared to off gas alternatives, heat pumps use fuel that is more stable in price; is more efficiently converted to heat i.e. more heat for less money; and allows customers to spread payments and engage in a competitive and regulated market. Although heat pumps are now fully available to the UK market, there is still limited take up, impacting upon the ability of this technology to reduce fuel poverty. Barriers to retrofitting air source heat pumps remain, as evidenced in the Barriers to Renewable Heat report to DECC, the EST field trial report and information gathered through NEA’s experience installing and monitoring heat pumps. Many of these are non-technical barriers i.e. they are about how the user is supported to use their system through simple controls and good instruction, whether the system is set-up for their particular needs, and whether housing and energy professionals are confident in choosing and deploying this technology. It is intended that this project will assist in overcoming some of these issues.
Authors: Helen Stockton, Deborah Harrison (NEA) for Department of Energy and Climate Change
Published: March 2012
This research was undertaken in the context of the introduction of the Green Deal and the Energy Company Obligation (ECO), two new programmes designed to assist Government in meeting their carbon reduction and fuel poverty policy objectives. These objectives however, can only be achieved and the benefits optimised if the wider public, and particularly vulnerable groups, choose to engage with the schemes.
2012 | Professor Lenny Koh, Centre for Energy, Environment and Sustainability
The BIG Energy Upgrade, was delivered by a consortium of local authorities and social housing providers. The Partners worked together in adopting a fully integrated, whole-house approach while installing energy efficiency measures and micro generation technologies in households. The University plays a key role in the project by providing a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding
and optimising the interrelated technological, behavioural and economic factors. The project addresses key national priorities of:
- reducing CO2 emissions from the installed base of residential dwellings, required to meet national
- alleviating fuel-poverty
- driving regional economic growth in this expanding field
The results of the project had particular relevance for the Green Deal, The project, to retrofit energy-efficiency and renewable-energy measures to residential dwellings is the largest such venture in the UK
Authors: NEA for Department of Energy and Climate Change
Published: May 2011
In 2009, DECC supported NEA to work with Warm Front to undertake a trial of external wall insulation in England. This project aimed to monitor the difference the insulation could make to people’s lives and to help Government and utility companies achieve their social and environmental obligations.