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

Summary

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.

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Research summary