EPRi's 2nd Birthday

Hi everyone,

As August 12th 2019 marks two years since Ron, Scott and I decided to launch the Energy Poverty Research initiative I thought I’d use the opportunity to post something to say a big thank you to all our friends and supporters, and to give you some updates on what we’ve been up to.

Particular thanks go to those members who don’t get subjected to the daily barrage of messages between the three of us – Helen, Brian, Fraser, Geoff, Liz and Emmanuel; to Energy Action Scotland, Common Weal, and Glasgow Caledonian University for supporting our work; and to all at Commonspace and talkRADIO UK for giving us the sort of regular media coverage that money can’t buy. There are so many others we ought to name that this could become a very long post, but if you’re reading this and have helped us in any way over the last two years please accept this as our vote of thanks. We also have a Friends of EPRi page on our website, so if you’re not on it and would like to be added please drop me an email.

To give you some idea of what we’ve achieved over the last year I thought I’d try putting it in numbers, so here goes:

- 3 co-founders, 9 members
- 4 policy papers (1 funded by Calor), and 1 being drafted (all with Common Weal)
- 7 (I think!) articles in Commonspace
- 2 articles in The National
- 7 appearances on talkRADIO
- 2 appearances on BBC Radio Scotland
- 3 invited presentations with key stakeholder groups
- 9 consultation responses, plus 1 waiting for sign off – 4 joint responses with Common Weal; 1 with Common Weal and Glasgow Caledonian University; and 1 with Common Weal, Glasgow Caledonian University, and Calor
- Representation on 3 cross party groups
- 2 open letters 
- Goodness knows how many consultation events, expert workshops, and other lobbying meetings attended
- 2 members of the Advisory Board for the European Energy Poverty Observatory
- Representation on 3 key research networks and 2 think tanks  
- 1 Nigerian correspondent (thanks Emmanuel!)
- 1 research project (where EPRi is named as a partner on the final report)
- 1 invited article in Nature Energy
- 1 journal paper published, and 1 due to be submitted soon
- 1 book (out in Nov from Palgrave Macmillan)  
- 1 website
- Budget of minus £60 (for the website)
- 1 motion to SNP conference (see below)
- 1 MRes – congrats to Helen on a well-deserved distinction 😊 
- 1 50th birthday (I won’t say who 😊)
- And 1 engagement 😊       

And finally, as some of you may have spotted, our website has been revamped and we now have a logo! Please feel free to use it and email me if you need an original version (some of you may spot the resemblance to our reconceptualising fuel poverty diagram). 

Looking ahead, there is still lots to play for as the Scottish Government finalises its legislation and we are lobbying hard to get the best possible results for Scotland. On which note, we have a call out for signatories and organisational supporters for an open letter on incorporating whole lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions into the Scottish Building Standards. This is a collaborative effort between EPRi, Common Weal and the BEAM Centre at GCU, and will be published by Common Weal and sent to the Scottish Government later this year. You can find it on our website at: http://energypovertyresearch.blogspot.com/2019/08/open-letter-incorporating-whole.html 

Our work is rarely easy and frequently frustrating, so all the more reason to take a step back once in a while to remind ourselves of the good news, and so here’s some very good news to end on.

Back in February, Common Weal published our proposals for the Scottish National Energy Company and a Scottish Energy Development Agency. The SNEC is already SNP policy and we have been working hard to influence its development, but now a motion to establish a SEDA is going to SNP conference in October. It’s being proposed by the Greenock and Inverclyde branch and backed by Ronnie Cowan MP, Stuart Macmillan MSP, and Chris Hanlon of the National Council Trade Union Group. If this passes it will be a huge win for us, so if you’re an SNP member please consider giving it your support.    

That’s all from me but please keep an eye on our website for more – it’s looking like another busy year ahead!

Best wishes,