Fuel Poverty and the Road to Recovery – Presentations

Scottish Fuel Poverty Conference

Fuel Poverty and the Road to Recovery

17 – 19 March 2021

Supported by SP Energy Networks

We gathered online to deliver a series of themed sessions with experts in a range of fields, leading the debate to challenge our perceptions and help us uncover how we are going to make a genuine difference.

Vulnerability: how do we protect people in need?

The word ‘vulnerability’ is much used but how can we define this state, better and more consistently? We will hear how it can be defined and categorised to support better understanding. Industry has a new voluntary commitment, the Vulnerability Commitment, bringing together energy companies to achieve a consistent approach to supporting those in most need. There have been regulatory protections provided and during COVID these have been enhanced. Health and social care professionals are at the frontline dealing with vulnerable people and the real impact that living in fuel poverty has. Hear from those working with vulnerable people including the energy regulator, to industry and those supporting people at the sharp end. How can we better protect people and prevent harm?

Chair – Stewart Wilson, Chief Executive Officer, Tighean Innse Gall

  • Dennis Berg, Senior Policy Manager, Ofgem
  • Dan Alchin, Deputy Director, Retail, Energy UK
  • Kate Morrison, Strategic Lead for Fair Markets, Citizens Advice Scotland
  • Dr Elizabeth Blakelock, Principal Policy Manager – Energy Supplier Monitoring and Performance, Citizens Advice
  • Dr John Budd, Deep End GP movement

Presentations for this session can be seen here

Funding: how can we accelerate change and identify what needs to be done?   

Fuel poverty arises from four distinct factors, the efficiency of homes, the affordability of energy, household income and how people interact with their homes. In order to eradicate fuel poverty, investment at all levels and across society will need to be targeted and mobilised. We will need great face to face advice, employability programmes and practical education to help people get the best out of their situation and measures to improve the quality of homes. Some help is needed immediately while others will take longer. Hear from those that distribute funding aimed at creating social justice. They will provide positive examples of the impact of the work they support and can help inspire the sort of action we need to help those experiencing increasing levels of fuel poverty as a result of COVID.

Chair- Lynda Mitchell, Deputy Convener, Energy Action Scotland and Manager, ALIenergy

  • Cassandra Dove, Policy Lead for Fuel Poverty, Scottish Federation of Housing Associations
  • Freya Burns, Senior Researcher, Changeworks
  • Graham Ayling – Senior Project Manager – Energy Redress, Energy Saving Trust
  • Elaine Gibb, Partnerships & Learning Manager, William Grant Foundation
  • Matthew Cole, Chair of Trustees, Fuel Bank Foundation
  • Jim McCormick, Chief Executive, The Robertson Trust

Presentations for this session can be seen here

NetZero: how will we deliver a fair and inclusive transition?

That there is a Climate Emergency is undeniable and there is growing commitment and resolve to address this. We have world leading, binding targets in Scotland and have made great progress in decarbonising the production of electricity. Achieving NetZero and decarbonising heat remains a huge challenge but strategies and plans aim to mobilise business and households are being created. Incentivising and engaging with those that have the least in society has real visibility. Hear from the Minister who has ensured that fuel poverty benefits are fundamental to the new Heat Networks Bill, from the Just Transition Commission on how NetZero ambitions can and must engage with low income, fuel poor households and from the energy networks, who will be investing in the infrastructure necessary to reduce our emissions and deliver a resilient energy system.

Chair – Frazer Scott, Chief Executive Officer, Energy Action Scotland

  • Simon Maine, Director of Corporate Affairs, OVO Energy
  • Prof. Jim Skea, Chair, Just Transition Commission
  • Simon Roberts, Centre for Sustainable Energy
  • Lucy Gillie, General Manager, South Seeds

Presentations for this session can be seen here

Wellbeing: is fuel poverty widening health inequalities and damaging the health of the nation?

Thousands of people die each year in Scotland as a direct result of living in fuel poverty. Living a cold, damp homes and being unable to power essential devices to cook, wash and clean reduces the quality of life and impacts on health and outcomes. COVID has highlighted an ever-widening gap in social inequality, further penalising those on the lowest incomes and in the poorest quality homes. Reports suggest that low-income households have had to spend more during COVID yet wealthier households have saved. In this session we will hear from experts about inequality, health and fuel poverty in Scotland.

Chair – Adam Scorer, Trustee, Energy Action Scotland and Chief Executive, NEA

  • Lukas Hardt, Wellbeing Economy Alliance
  • Jack Evans, Scotland Policy and Partnerships Manager, Joseph Rowntree Foundation
  • Katrina Reid, Health Improvement Manager, Public Health Scotland
  • Meena Bhagat, Research Officer, Energy Agency
  • Professor Ade Kearns, Professor of Urban Studies at the University of Glasgow

Presentations for this session can be seen here