Masters of Research thesis: What barriers and opportunities exist for FITs and RHIs to contribute positively to fuel poverty, equality and social inclusion while maximising renewable energy uptake?

Start Date June 2010
Completion Date November 2010
Grant Holders: Robert Saunders, Masters student, Imperial College London
Main Contact Robert Saunders, Masters student, Imperial College London
Email: robert.saunders09@imperial.ac.uk

Summary

Masters dissertation

The introduction of Feed in Tariffs (FITs) in 2010 and the proposed Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) in 2011 have re-energised the market for smaller scale investment in renewable energy by guaranteeing a reasonable payback time for new installations. While these provide great opportunity for those with ready capital to spend, for the record numbers in fuel poverty or in the lowest decile of income, they may seem out of reach. This thesis searches the literature to highlight opportunities for, and barriers to renewable energy uptake in low income areas and builds a theoretical systemic model to investigate the influences involved. Two case studies of renewable energy projects in low income areas are used to test and modify the model before conclusions for policy makers are drawn.

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Masters of Research thesis: What are the factors that prevent those in fuel and water poverty accessing financial support mechanisms?

Start Date October 2009
Completion Date September 2010
Grant Holders: The Department of Social Policy and Social Work The University of York
Main Contact Dr Carolyn Snell, Lecturer in Social and Environmental Policy
Email: cjs130@york.ac.uk

Summary

Masters dissertation

Research conducted in 2009 by Snell and Bradshaw found that there is a close link between fuel and water poverty, and that certain demographic and socio-economic characteristics increase the likelihood of a household being defined as both fuel and water poor. This research also found that there is limited take-up of statutory and other forms of support by eligible fuel and water customers. This MRes project will investigate the barriers that prevent customers from taking up financial support with their utility bills, and will compare knowledge and accessibility of fuel and water financial support mechanisms. The MRes will assess existing support mechanisms on the basis of the research findings, and will make some initial policy recommendations.

Masters student: Lauren Probert

Supervisor: Dr Carolyn Snell

Thesis

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