Cornwall Fuel Poverty and Energy Efficiency Action Plan

Producing a plan to help Cornwall County Council tackle fuel poverty and energy efficiency

Project duration: July 2004 to July 2005

Cornwall County Council and the Government made a Local Public Service Agreement (LPSA) that included the target of 'tackling energy deprivation'. If the council achieved the quantifiable elements of the target by March 2006, it would attract substantial reward funding. The council was one of the UK's first pioneering councils to set a fuel poverty LPSA target.

The Delivery Plan for the target included the production of a Fuel Poverty and Energy Efficiency Action Plan. CSE was responsible for producing this Plan, the purpose of which was to:

  1. Assess the current size of the problem in Cornwall (numbers of fuel poor, numbers of homes needing energy efficiency measures, geographical spread)
  2. Ascertain the most effective methodologies for tackling fuel poverty, hard to heat homes and the take up of energy efficiency measures in the domestic sector in Cornwall
  3. Identify and prioritise sub-ward areas for future fuel poverty and energy efficiency work in Cornwall

The report also relates to Action 8 in the Cornwall Sustainable Energy Strategy and Action Plan, published in July 2004.

CSE carried out the following six tasks:

  1. Scene setting: a data collection exercise that established the scale of the fuel poverty and energy efficiency problem. This included information on fuel poverty, hard to treat properties, energy efficiency awareness and related issues. CSE's aim was to present much of this information at sub-ward level
  2. Analysis of existing schemes: based on semi-structured interviews with scheme providers and the results of a scheme manager workshop
  3. Technical solutions: a review of options for tackling hard to treat properties in Cornwall, i.e. those off-gas, solid-walled and 'Cornish units' (see photo) 
  4. Targeting: identification of priority areas for action, including recommendations for six further Home Health Zones and an 'able-to-pay' zone
  5. Measuring progress: developed a set of indicators for measuring progress on the Action Plan and linked these with existing performance measures used in the county
  6. Reporting: the work was carried out in two stages. The second of these included data from CSE's updated fuel poverty indicator ( and was completed in late 2005

As well as producing a detailed Action Plan for taking forward fuel poverty and energy efficiency work in Cornwall, the project should inform the development of a fuel poverty performance indicator for all local authorities in the country.

* © Copyright Martin Bodman and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

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