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Affordable Warmth

Addressing the problem of Affordable Warmth in Hard to Heat Homes: finding a way forward

(funded by Eaga PCT.)

Affordable Warmth in Hard to Heat Homes – finding a way forward (2002)This area of work addresses fuel poverty in dwellings that are not covered by the standard ‘cost-effective’ measures funded under EEC, Warm Front, etc.

The work started with a small briefing paper, then developed, with funding from Eaga PCT, into ongoing independent research on various aspects

Affordable Warmth in Hard to Heat Homes – progress report (2004)”Hard to Heat” homes are defined by ACE as those which have poorly insulated walls (usually solid walls, but also cavity walls which cannot be filled for technical reasons), or are off the gas network, or both. Up to 40% of UK homes could fall into this classification.

Some commentators have objected to the this term on the grounds that they are not hard to HEAT, but expensive to heat, and have adopted the term hard to TREAT. We would counter that with “in most cases we have the technology to treat them, but it is deemed expensive to do so!”. As the real problem is Expensive to Heat and Expensive to Treat, which doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, we will remain with our own term, hard to heat, to label our own work. The main thing is that all stakeholders work together to solve the problem.

Work undertaken

An initial discussion paper from the ACE Research Team raised the question of what to do about the estimated one million homes which have solid walls, low SAP ratings, are difficult and expensive to heat, and likely to be occupied by vulnerable people. Using available data from the English and Scottish House Conditions Survey we identified the breadth of the problem that could affect as many as 30% of households in the UK.

The ACE paper was developed and updated with funding from the (then) Eaga Charitable Trust. The briefing paper “Affordable Warmth for Hard to Heat Homes – Finding a Way Forward” raised the above question again. It was used to inform the stakeholders with an interest in ‘Hard to Heat Homes’ about the nature and extent of the problem across England.

The next stage was a workshop in December 2001 to discuss the findings on the briefing paper and begin to develop a better understanding of the issues surrounding Hard to Heat Homes, and to develop sensible practical and policy solutions to the problem.

The outcome from the workshop was compiled into an interim report and circulated to all the major stakeholders with an interest in Hard to Heat Homes. The feedback on this interim report and any resulting discussion, along with the results from the workshop itself were published as a final report by EAGA CT and ACE.

To follow-up on this work, Eaga PCT funded a review of the situation, through both original and new stakeholders, in December 2003 and January 2004. The results of this work were published in a Progress Report.

Download Affordable Warmth reports

Briefing Paper (2001)

Affordable Warmth in Hard to Heat Homes – finding a way forward (2002)

Affordable Warmth in Hard to Heat Homes – progress report (2004)

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