ENERGY supplier Calor is highlighting two studies it has carried out in a bid to alleviate fuel poverty.
The work was undertaken in the first and second year of the Calor FREE Fuel Poverty initiative.
Researchers spent the first year identifying and mapping the scale and nature of the problem of fuel poverty in rural areas.
Defined as households that spend more than 10% of their income on keeping warm, fuel poverty can be a particular challenge in rural areas.
This is because homes are not always on the main gas supply. Older houses can also lack insulation making them harder to heat.
Calor developed a suite of resources for off-mains gas properties and energy options, raising awareness of a holistic range of solutions via an energy efficiency roadshow approach.
Findings from the first year can be downloaded here.
The second year of the initiative took a different approach, trying to identify opportunities for practical energy efficiency improvements within eight off-mains gas villages.
Calor undertook eight individual Village Energy Audits which involved questionnaires and housing surveys to understand what opportunities existed in villages for insulation measures.
The Village Energy Audits demonstrated that significant opportunities exist – particularly among priority and super-priority groups.
Audits resulted in detailed individual property reports and an overall village report which was shared with all residents.
Findings from the second year can be downloaded here.
Holly Sims, Calor corporate affairs manager, said she believed the results and lessons could be taken from both years and applied more widely to other areas
"While the activity was obviously limited in that it only targeted eight villages, we believe the results to typify the situation in many rural communities."
Calor is the Rural Services Network's energy partner.
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