Identifying the fair share: billing for district heating in hard to treat properties

Start Date May 2014
Completion Date May 2015
Grant Holders: Changeworks
Main Contact Tessa Clark, Researcher


District heating is a real option to meet fuel poverty goals and housing standards. How tenants engage with these heating systems and the form of billing is critical to their use. This research focuses on the implications for tenants and landlords of this transition from energy provided in the form of conventionally regulated fuels to unregulated heat provided by the landlord or contracted third party.  Working with a number of social landlords, the project will look at existing installs to determine the range of tenant practices, review monitoring and billing protocols (including prepayment meters) and provide recommendations on tenant advice, a fair tariff structure and approach for future roll out.

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Evaluation of solid wall insulation on fuel poor households in the private sector

Start Date July 2012
Completion Date June 2011
Grant Holders: Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE)
Main Contact Will Anderson, Senior Researcher, CSE,


The Centre for Sustainable Energy is working with Bath and North East Somerset Council to install external and internal solid wall insulation, as appropriate, in the homes of fourteen privately owned fuel poor households. The technical challenges of such retrofits are recognised but our understanding of the human barriers to uptake is poor. These barriers must be addressed if national retrofit programmes for solid wall houses are to succeed. This study is an in-depth evaluation of the local scheme, exploring the delivery and impacts of the scheme from the householders’ perspective. The study will provide invaluable insight for practitioners, identifying the issues and obstacles that will affect wider roll-out.

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Rising Fuel Prices: the challenge for affordable warmth in hard to heat homes

Start Date January 2005
Completion Date End August 2005
Grant Holders: Association for the Conservation of Energy (ACE)
Main Contact Jacky Pett, Head of Research, ACE


Since the summer of 2004, a number of economic, political and climatic events have coalesced around the issue of rising fuel prices. A new era of sustained high prices, heralded by expert commentators, will significantly affect the cost-effectiveness of various measures, including their ability to eradicate fuel poverty. This project has produced a publicly available, web-based tool called Fuel Prophet. It allows social housing providers and policy analysts to consider changes in the cost-effectiveness of various energy saving measures, and indicates which are best suited to alleviating fuel poverty in times of fuel price uncertainty, particularly in hard to heat homes.

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Affordable Warmth in Hard to Heat Homes: a progress report

Start Date November 2003
Completion Date January 2004
Grant Holders: Association for the Conservation of Energy
Main Contact Jacky Pett, Senior Researcher, ACE


Affordable Warmth in Hard to Heat Homes: finding a way forward (available at was published in February 2002 and gave an overview of the extent and problems of fuel poverty in hard to heat homes. “Hard to heat” was defined as those without cavity walls, off the gas network or both. The project recommended a route map of work, covering policy, technology, knowledge sharing, best practice and marketing, in order to make progress. In the two years that have elapsed, both fuel poverty and hard to heat (or treat) homes have received much attention, but how much progress has been made? This project will review the evidence and interview the original and new stakeholder groups to provide up to date information.

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