Our Projects

Energy Poverty Research was founded by a team who have collaborated informally for almost a decade, but it is only in the last few years that we've been able to formally partner on projects. Our current and recent projects include:

Research into support and advice services for households in Scotland reliant on electric heating

Barbara Atterson, Scott Restrick & Helen Melone (EAS); Keith Baker & Ron Mould (GCU); & Fraser Stewart 

This new project was commissioned by Citizens Advice Scotland and will include working with local authority and third sector partners to conduct four deliberative workshops for Scottish householders It will gather evidence on the existing available services providing specialised support for consumers reliant on electric heating in Scotland, how they meet the needs of this group, and identify any gaps in provision. It will also highlight the issues faced by consumers through engagement with organisations delivering this support.

The final report, due in early 2018, will also assess the starting points, activities and impacts of different interventions to identify effective models for holistic support for electric heating consumers; explore the roles of trusted intermediaries in the delivery of support to householders; and make recommendations as to how and where these services could be developed, expanded or altered.

South Seeds Energy Advocacy Evaluation 

Keith Baker & Fraser Stewart

South Seeds is a community energy advocacy project serving the people of Glasgow South Side. Dr Keith Baker and Dr Fraser Stewart have been commissioned to conduct an evaluation of South Seeds’ services in order to provide a meaningful assessment of the benefits of its activities to tackle fuel poverty and support vulnerable householders. This is being delivered using a largely qualitative analysis, using data from interviews with clients, staff and a partner organisation; and supported by records supplied by South Seeds.  

The final report is due in November 2017 and will be posted here. For more information on South Seeds please see: www.southseeds.org

Proiseact Spéird: Understanding fuel poverty in rural and island Scotland

Keith Baker, Ron Mould & Scott Restrick. In partnership with Orkney Islands Council, Highland Council, Lochalsh and Skye Housing Association, ALIenergy, & SCARF; and supported by Energy Action Scotland, the Scottish Fuel Poverty Forum, the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland, the Scottish Ecological Design Association, and Shelter Scotland.  

The Scottish Government’s statistics show that rural households spend more on energy to heat their homes than urban equivalents. However, prior research conducted by the project team using data from households in Renfrewshire had found this ‘energy spend gap’ is more significant than those statistics suggest, whilst other research has shows that influences on the energy spend of rural households are also highly multi-facted. The Speird Project validated and significantly expanded on these findings across five areas of Scotland. The findings provide new evidence on the extent and segmentation of fuel poverty in Scotland – uncovering the ‘hidden geographies’ of fuel poverty across rural areas and the islands.

The project, which was funded by the Eaga Charitable Trust, successfully validated the findings of the Renfrewshire study and produced a number of key findings and recommendations, including the need for a greater policy focus on addressing the needs of vulnerable householders in rural and island areas.

The findings were presented to Kevin Stewart, Minister for Local Government and Housing, at a reception at the Scottish Parliament in March 2017. Evidence from Speird and the Renfrewshire study has also been taken up by the Scottish Fuel Poverty Strategic Working Group and as part of the Scottish Government’s review of the definition.

The final report and a summary of the findings and recommendations can be found at: https://www.eagacharitabletrust.org/the-speird-project/  


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