Reaching fuel poor families
Families in fuel poverty are an important policy issue. ACE research has shown that there are currently 2.23 million children, in 1.08 million families, in fuel poverty (close to half the total number of households, as newly defined) in England. Fuel poverty has severe and long-lasting effects, including on children’s respiratory problems, mental health, hospital admission rates, developmental status, educational attainment and emotional well-being, among other impacts.
Last year, ACE estimated that only 2.9% of energy assistance budgets would reach fuel poor families. The recent “Behind Cold Doors” report by The Children’s Society showed that 1.9 million children living in poverty in the UK were in families that missed out on a Warm Home Discount (a key form of fuel poverty assistance) in 2013/14. For these reasons, take-up of fuel poverty assistance among families is a key concern for policy-makers, service providers and energy companies.
In this context, Eaga Charitable Trust is funding The Children’s Society and the Association for the Conservation of Energy to carry out the project “Reaching fuel poor families: Informing new approaches to promoting take-up of fuel poverty assistance among families with children”. This research will review a range of fuel poverty schemes aimed at families, especially those run through Children’s Centres. It will also involve an in-depth evaluation of one specific scheme based in Mortimer House Children’s Centre, a centre in Bradford run by The Children’s Society.
The project will provide recommendations for this specific scheme, and inform a potential roll-out to other centres. It will also draw lessons of broader relevance to fuel poverty schemes aimed at families, to help in the design and delivery of effective programmes in future. If you would like to know more about this research, please use this form:
If you would like to learn more about Eaga Charitable Trust, please email Naomi Brown at email@example.com or visit www.eagacharitabletrust.org.
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