Fuel poverty in London: research and policy report
Who’s struggling to keep warm in London and what can the Greater London Authority do to help them? These were the central questions that our research team worked to answer in the fuel poverty policy report written for the GLA in partnership with CAG Consultants, Association for the Conservation of Energy and SE2. The report collated facts and figures needed to help the GLA to develop an effective plan for tackling fuel poverty across the capital city.
Fuel poverty in London
London faces some unique challenges in tackling fuel poverty – high living costs, a large number of flats and high-rise buildings, and higher costs for delivering fuel poverty schemes (due to the city’s size). But, there are also some opportunities that London is uniquely placed to take advantage of; an active Mayor’s office with London-wide powers committed to reducing fuel poverty, the Energy for Londoners programme, and a range of borough-level fuel poverty schemes providing focused local action.
Our research report
The report set out the findings of the research including data and analysis to help the GLA to develop their Fuel Poverty Action Plan. This included:
- Social indicator maps showing the distribution and prevalence of fuel poverty at LSOA level, the changes in the prevalence of fuel poverty between 2011-2014 and the location and distribution of energy inefficient homes with a low SAP rating
- Profiles of the different types of fuel poor household – showing how fuel poverty cuts across age, ethnicity, income level, disability, type of dwelling, different employment status, tenures and payment and heating methods
- Graphs showing fuel poverty trends in London over time
- An inventory of fuel poverty schemes operating in London at that time to show what was working well, how these schemes were organised and funded and where they operated
- Examples of best practice from the UK
- Modelling that shows what effect future policies and programme would have in alleviating fuel poverty, the cost of these programmes and the percentage change in the prevalence of fuel poverty
Recommendations for future action against fuel poverty in London
The report concluded with recommendations for possible future action. These included the suggestion that the GLA set up a single fuel poverty advice hub for all Londoners, with one phone number which is designed to refer people through to local schemes and that the GLA work to raise the profile of fuel poverty action amongst relevant organisations and businesses.
The research clearly demonstrated that there were stark contrasts not only in the prevalence of fuel poverty across the city, but also in the support that different councils offered and the programmes that have worked best in the past. That indicated that any London-wide fuel poverty plan needed to be flexible enough to respond to diverse local needs and to meet the challenge of cold homes in the nation’s capital. CSE carried out the mapping, data analysis and modelling, CAG and SE2 conducted interviews and ACE carried out additional desk-based research. The GLA’s draft Fuel Poverty Action Plan was developed and consulted on in late 2017. The final version was published by the GLA in 2018 drawing heavily on the research contained in CSE’s report.