Maria Wardrobe

Given the nature of funding smart meters through a levy on consumer bills, it is crucial to ensure that vulnerable and low-income households are able to benefit. The installation process and follow-up support mechanisms must take into account the needs of vulnerable consumers. It is important to understand how ...
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National Energy Action The UK fuel poverty and energy efficiency charity

Maria Wardrobe Director of External Affairs

Who we are  NEA’s vision is to bring an end to fuel poverty  NEA’s strategic aims:  To influence and increase strategic action against fuel poverty  To develop and progress solutions to improve access to energy

efficiency products, advice and fuel poverty related services in UK households  To enhance knowledge and understanding of energy efficiency and fuel poverty  Based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. NEA operates throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland. NEA works with Energy Action Scotland across the Border

We campaign

Rt Hon Ed Davey MP Secretary of State, DECC

Charles Hendry MP President of NEA

We educate and train

We innovate and evaluate

We engage and deliver

Key message: Energy efficiency brings multiple benefits

Key ask – More resources needed……

Bridging the evidence gap – the voluntary sector contribution Some examples of NEA’s work: Research projects and their impact on policy & practice Practical projects and their impact Impacts of our campaigning

Warm Homes for Older People – Age Action Alliance & DECC Research projects: Working with AAA to identify the ways by which older households can be supported to access the Green Deal/ECO and achieve affordable warmth

AAA Digital research to identify how the digitisation of energy is Impacting on fuel poor and vulnerable households AAA Fuel Poverty Action Guide

Warm Homes for Older People Policy impact  Recommended communication strategies to improve accessibility of GD and

ECO to vulnerable older people  Used by DECC to inform Green Deal advice services and GD assessor training

 DECC funded follow-up scoping study to explore the social networks of older

people and their capacity as potential avenues for support and advice

Smart meters, smart grids and new technologies  Smart meter roll-out to replace traditional meters by 2020  Cost to energy consumers of around £12 billion

Smart meters Policy context  Given the nature of funding smart meters through a levy on consumer

bills, it is crucial to ensure that vulnerable and low-income households are able to benefit  The installation process and follow-up support mechanisms must take

into account the needs of vulnerable consumers  It is important to understand how associated behaviour change plays

out in practice The installation process as a key point of contact with consumers in the roll-out process

Smart meters The vulnerable consumer experience  Jointly funded by DECC and Consumer Focus  Objective: To gain a better understanding of the low income customer experience of

smart meter installation and ensure that the needs of low income consumers are addressed

 Methods: In home interviews and Focus Groups with a range of different ‘types’ of


 Discussion topics included:    

The installation process Post-installation support needs Perceived benefits and limitations Energy use and behaviour change

Smart meters Policy impact  Inform supplier programmes to engage vulnerable consumers in smart meter rollout  Smart Meters Code of Practice  Extra Help Scheme

 Follow-up study looked at what an extra help scheme for vulnerable consumers should look like  Partner in a European project to help other European partners develop training and consumer engagement strategies – ‘SmartUp’

Practical projects and their impact

NEA working with food banks

Practical projects and their impact Cataloguing ‘energy on prescription  DECC commissioned NEA to carry out an online survey to catalogue local

  

schemes that are targeting individuals with health problems for energy efficiency measures and other fuel poverty interventions. The aim of the survey was to collate information on health-related fuel poverty schemes to better understand levels of activity in this area and highlight challenges to implementation, as well as successful approaches. 110 response/75 unique schemes Results currently being analysed but main challenges appear to be: Funding, Engaging with the health sector and data sharing Findings will hopefully lead to changes to overcome these challenges

Impacts of our campaigning • Energy Act (2013) The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change is obliged to set an objective, a strategy, a timeline, and a target addressing fuel poverty concerns in England. • Cutting the cost of keeping warm (2014) Government consultation leads to a new fuel poverty strategy for England. This puts in place a 2030 target to bring ‘as many fuel poor households as reasonably practicable’ to EPC ‘C’, with similar interim targets. • Focus on off-gas • Focus on health

A manifesto for warmth Labour’s Green Plan – Page 6 “We will offer free energy efficiency improvements to at least 200,000 households in or at risk of fuel poverty a year, delivered street-by-street by local authorities and other trusted bodies.” Liberal Democrat Manifesto – Page 101 “Boost community energy efficiency by empowering the Green Investment Bank to develop innovative financial products for whole street or district-wide energy efficiency retrofits” Green Manifesto – Page 21 “Provide a free nationwide retrofit insulation programme, concentrating on areas where fuel poverty is most serious. This is designed to insulate 9 million homes in total and take at least 2 million homes out of fuel poverty”

Redressing the balance  A further example of NEA and others campaigning      

success £26.2m fund Commencing April 2015 - 30 month programme Completion expected June – September 2017 England, Wales and Scotland Funds will provide heating, energy efficiency measures, advice and related support over 5000 householders 79 % of funds will be for physical measures

Redressing the balance Programmes of work 1. Warm Zones Fund  Cost effective delivery of energy efficiency and carbon reduction measures and related advice to vulnerable householders 2. Technical Innovation Fund  To promote new solutions to fuel poverty utilising energy saving measures not traditionally in scope of current schemes 3. Warm and Healthy Homes Fund  To establish new models of working with colleagues in health and social care sector

Warm and Healthy Homes Fund England, Wales & Scotland - Seek EOIs June 2015 10 locations for England and Wales programmes  Warm and Healthy Homes - Partnerships Programme  Warm and Healthy Homes – Small Measures Programme  Warm and Healthy Homes – Energy Action Scotland


Purpose of programmes: To work with partnerships including health sector partners to identify and fund new or existing projects to provide heating, insulation and other measures to vulnerable households at risk of cold-related illness/EWD

A Manifesto for Warmth

Full video available on our YouTube channel

Thank you