UCL Energy Institute


Evaluating the Delivery of Energy Efficiency Retrofits in Low-income Homes in England


13 August 2015

For over 10 years, the Warm Front scheme (WFS) was the primary tool through which Government sought to improve the energy efficiency of owner occupied homes in or at risk of fuel poverty in England. Beginning in 2000, and closing in 2012/13, the WFS provided energy efficient heating and insulation measures to low income households. Targeting and delivery of retrofit measures to vulnerable households is limited by the ability to identify them from available data. Vulnerable households may be ‘unseen’ or be unable to access government programmes because they lack the means or awareness. Key questions to be addressed in evaluating the WFS are: how effective was the targeting in meeting fuel poverty need? How did changes in eligibility affect applications? And, what factors affected application success? A database collected on all WFS applications (successful and unsuccessful) was used to examine the targeting and delivery of measures. The findings show that the uptake of measures among vulnerable households broadly mirrored the concentration of fuel poverty risk across England. Ethnic minority households made fewer applications to the scheme, but were more likely be approved. The WFS was able to treat a significant proportion of the target population over the scheme period examined, over 1.5 million households. However, higher uptake rates were affected by ethnicity, suggesting that engagement may need to be more specifically tailored in the future.

Goodbye Warm Front: Evaluating the Delivery of Energy Efficiency Retrofits in Low-income Homes in England from 2005 to 2012. International Energy Program Evaluation Conference Long Beach, USA. International Energy Program Evaluation Conference.

Hamilton, I.G., Agnolucci, P., Oreszczyn, T. (2015)

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