‘The Health of the Nation’: analysis of cost effectiveness and success factors in health-related fuel poverty schemes

Start Date: September 2016
Completion Date: March 2017
Grant Holders: SE2 & Lewisham Council
Main Contact: Liz Warren, Director SE2
Email: liz.warren@se-2.co.uk

‘The Health of the Nation’ will research the cost effectiveness and success factors of health-related fuel poverty schemes across the UK. SE2 Ltd and Lewisham Council are working together to build a new evidence base about the costs and outcomes of fuel poverty schemes, to help provide benchmarks to scheme managers and insight to policymakers. How do schemes measure success? What does value-for-money look like? How do scheme objectives and design affect results? How much does it cost to generate a referral? We will be asking local authorities, scheme providers and referral partners for insight and data to underpin this important and innovative study.

Final report

Research summary

Policymakers’ guidance

Guidance for fuel poverty scheme managers

Modelling the impact of fuel poverty and energy efficiency on health

Start Date: November 2016
Completion Date: May 2018
Grant Holders: University of Exeter Medical School
Main Contacts: Dr Ben Wheeler, Senior Research Fellow & Dr Richard Sharpe, Advanced Public Health Practitioner
Email: B.W.Wheeler@exeter.ac.uk; rsharpe@cornwall.gov.uk


In this collaborative study, we investigated the links between changes in the built environment, fuel poverty and health. We linked housing energy efficiency data from the energy Saving Trust’s Home Energy Efficiency Database and Devon Home Analytics Portal database with health data (Hospital Episode Statistics). In analyses, we assessed associations between increased energy efficiency and hospital admission rates (COPD, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases). The findings were mixed, but there was a suggestion of a positive association with higher admission rates in areas where average home energy efficiency was greater. These findings are put into context with a range of study limitations.

Full report

Research summary 

Tackling the health implications of cold and damp housing – case studies

Start Date April 2004
Completion Date June 2004
Grant Holders: Trevor Davison, Employment and Training Consultant
Main Contact Trevor Davison, Employment and Training Consultant
Email: trevor.davison@orange.fr


This project, which is supported in conjunction with NHS Scotland, seeks to illustrate through a series of case studies the different ways that the health sector in Scotland is responding to the problem of fuel poverty and its health implications.The project follows on from the publication of the Health Implications of Cold and Damp Housing – a training resource in June 2003. Almost one hundred health staff and health academics attended the training of trainers events associated with the resource and the case studies will describe how these participants have incorporated the resource in their area of work. The case studies will highlight aspects of good practice as well as potential barriers.The case studies will be published in June 2004 to coincide with the first annual updates of the training resource. Like the updates, the case studies will be available completely free of charge to all front line health staff throughout Scotland.

Case studies

Download case studies

The effect of the affordable warmth programme on internal environmental variables and respiratory health in a vulnerable group: a randomised trial

Start Date September 2004
Completion Date July 2007
Grant Holders: University of Aberdeen, in collaboration with Castlehill Housing Association and Aberdeen City Council Community Services
Main Contact Dr Liesl Osman, Senior Research Fellow, Chest Clinic, Aberdeen Infirmary
Email: l.osman@abdn.ac.uk


In this project Aberdeen University and Aberdeen City Council are carrying out a randomised controlled trial among homeowners and Housing Association and Council tenants experiencing fuel poverty. This assesses the impact of participation in a unique programme developed by Aberdeen City Council to improve the energy efficiency of homes to bring them up to affordable warmth standard. The trial will evaluate health benefits of the scheme for patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and the effect of the home improvements on indoor environmental variables likely to affect respiratory health. This study is an exciting and innovative collaboration to inform housing policy in the UK.

Final report

Download report

Health implications of cold and damp housing – a training resource

Start Date February 2003
Completion Date May 2003
Grant Holders: Trevor Davison, Employment and Training Consultant
Main Contact Trevor Davison, Employment and Training Consultant
Email: trevor.davison@orange.fr


This project aims to produce a comprehensive training resource focusing on the health implications of cold and damp housing. The primary target group for the resource will be front line health professionals. However, it will also be very useful to other staff in related caring professionals. The resource will contain all the necessary training materials (training manual, trainers’ notes, training resources, background and essential reading) required by the trainer to deliver the two hour session at a local level. The resource is also supported by the NHS Education for Scotland and the Public Institute of Scotland. It will be issued free of charge to all training bodies throughout Scotland.

Training resource

Energy efficiency, indoor air quality and asthma – Phase II

Start Date 2002
Completion Date 2003
Grant Holders: University of Strathclyde, Department of Architecture and Building Science
Main Contact Dr Stirling Howieson, University of Strathclyde


This is a double blind, placebo controlled trial in energy efficient and inefficient dwellings, to lower domestic relative humidity levels and monitor allergen reservoirs and patients’ respiratory functions. The project aims to build on the foundations and data now forthcoming from phase I of the research.

Research papers

Download paper phase i bsert067p.pdf
Download uniofstrathclydehousingandasthmapaper.pdf

Fuel poverty and health – a toolkit for primary care trusts, strategic health authorities and primary care teams

Start Date March 2002
Completion Date March 2003
Grant Holders: National Heart Forum
Main Contact Paul Lincoln, Chief Executive, National Heart Forum


The project aims to raise awareness and action on fuel poverty and health higher on the NHS agenda, by encouraging changes in professional practice at primary care level and through new partnerships with the housing and energy efficiency sector. It will do this through the production of a practical toolkit for local health services, to encourage them to be become actively, appropriately and effectively involved in local partnerships to reduce fuel poverty and thus improve health. The toolkit will be marketed to all Primary Health Care Trusts and Teams, Emergency Winter Planning Teams and Local Strategic Partnerships and equivalent organisations throughout the UK.

Useful links: http://www.heartforum.org.uk/resources/nhf-publications/?entryid30=4126&p=11

Developing A Methodology to Evaluate the Outcome of Investment in Affordable Warmth

Completion Date 2001
Grant Holders: Low Energy Architecture Research Unit (LEARN), School of Architecture and Interior Design, University of North London.
Main Contact Eagact@aol.com


This is a report on a pilot study that aims to develop a methodology for evaluating cost benefits, particularly health improvements, resulting from investment in domestic affordable warmth. This has involved seeking correlations between mapped data relating to low incomes, building characteristics and hospital admissions. The ultimate objective is a monitoring tool for use by local authorities and health authorities and, from the evidence of this pilot study, further development of the methodology appears to be justified.

Cold Homes and Health

Completion Date 1997
Grant Holders: Roger Critchley, Health and Housing Group
Main Contact Eagact@aol.com


Roger Critchley, Health and Housing Group, was invited by the eaga Charitable Trust to act as a referee on the first draft of the report Fuel Poverty, Energy Efficiency and Health by Melanie Henwood. Subsequently it was decided to make Roger Critchley’s comments more widely available, in the form of this report, as part of the Trust’s research initiative on health and fuel poverty.

Fuel Poverty, Energy Efficiency and Health

Completion Date 1997
Grant Holders: Melanie Henwood
Main Contact Eagact@aol.com


During 1997 the eaga Charitable Trust launched a programme of research on the theme of Fuel Poverty and Health. This background scoping paper was commissioned by the Trust to inform the development of the Trust’s programme of work. The report addresses the main themes of fuel poverty, energy efficiency and health, and considers the current research evidence, which is available.