We are still 'open for business' at the RSN with all of our staff working remotely to stay safe. We will still be delivering our services to our customers, although we're having a little think about how to best enable our usual face to face meetings and seminars.

We are looking forward to chatting with you online! If you have a query please email and we will get back to you.

Stay safe!

Spotlight on Vulnerability - Fuel Poverty Edition (December 2018)

Welcome to the latest Spotlight on Fuel Poverty - brought to you by the Rural Services Network and the Rural England CIC in association with Calor.

Limited options for fuel in rural localities – many of which lack mains gas – make efficient fuel use and insulation particularly important for countryside communities.

In addition, rural residents face the challenges of lower average wages, an ageing population and single-skin, solid wall or non-cavity wall properties.

The Rural Services Network believes the national picture must not mask this extra rural dimension.

Latest headlines:

Better-off pensioners asked to give up fuel allowance

21 November 2018

Better-off pensioners are being urged to give up their winter fuel allowance to help people in need. (Henley Standard)

How to donate your winter fuel allowance

28 November 2018

If you receive a Winter Fuel Allowance but feel you don't really need it, how about donating it to charity? (Bournemouth Echo)

Committee on Fuel Poverty annual report: 2018

7 November 2018

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy publishes the third annual report of the Committee on Fuel Poverty. (

MP worried poverty is forgotten in Brexit storm

11 December 2018

The impasse over Brexit means other hugely important issues have not been getting the focus they deserve, says MP Gloria De Piero. (Chad)

Fears fuel poverty changes will hit older people

28 November 2018

The Scottish Government is considering increasing the age at which people are deemed to be vulnerable to cold related illnesses from 60 to between 75 and 80. (Evening Times)

Time to consider Decent Homes Standard version two?

27 November 2018

Following the Social Housing Green Paper’s recognition of a need to rebuild trust it is time for a thorough review of the Decent Homes Standard, argues John Kiely. (Inside Housing)

Campaign hoping to keep people warm in Bucks

25 November 2018

Over 17,000 households in Buckinghamshire are living in fuel poverty and struggle to keep warm in winter. (Mix 96)

Fuel poverty firm goes into administration

14 November 2018

A not-for-profit company dedicated to helping low income families stay warm during the winter has gone into administration, putting dozens of jobs at risk. (Chronicle Live)

30,000 households living in fuel poverty

3 December 2018

The Wiltshire Community Foundation is pushing to help as many as possible to 'Survive Winter' this year. (Spire FM)

Low-cost fuel tariff for Cheshire West residents

14 December 2018

Cheshire West and Chester Council-backed Qwest Energy has announced a new low-cost fuel tariff for residents in the area. (Chester Standard)

Local energy fund to power communities?

19 November 2018

Distribution network operator Electricity North West (ENW) has launched a new £75,000 community energy fund. (Current News)

Donations to Surviving Winter campaign reaches £10,000

9 December 2018

A winter campaign aimed at keeping the elderly and vulnerable warm and cared for has surpassed it’s £10,000 milestone in public donations alone. (Eastern Daily Press)

Michael Eavis backs Surviving Winter campaign

1 December 2018

Glastonbury Festival organiser is dipping into his pocket and asking others to do the same so that people in Somerset don't go cold this winter. (Somerset County Gazette)

Low-income households offered help to reduce winter energy bills

12 November 2018

A new scheme will help victims of fuel poverty in Northamptonshire save money on heating and electricity costs. (Northampton Chronicle)

Communities receive boost from winter crisis fund

24 November 2018

REACH Community Projects in Haverhill receives a boost from Hopkins Homes Winter Crisis Fund and a helping hand from HMS Vengeance crew members. (Haverhill Echo)

Fuel poverty approach needs a ‘reboot’

5 November 2018

Rates of fuel poverty remain disturbingly high, with too many households struggling to pay their bills due to low incomes, poor housing standards and higher energy prices. (Utility Week)

Buy-to-let landlords face energy efficiency bills of £3,500

16 November 2018

Landlords may need to pay up to £3,500 to improve the energy efficiency of their rented homes, under regulations set to come into force next year. (Which?)

EDGE delivers record £1.8m of support to startups

7 December 2018

Scottish EDGE, the funding support system for startups, has awarded a record £1.8 million to 24 businesses. (Daily Business Group)

Help elderly and vulnerable people stay warm this winter

19 November 2018

A winter campaign has been launched to help those experiencing fuel poverty and lend a helping hand to those isolated in the darkness. (Eastern Daily Press)

Elderly at risk as quarter of Scots face fuel poverty

5 December 2018

Ministers are under renewed pressure to end the scandal of cold homes after figures revealed a quarter of Scottish households still live in fuel poverty. (Sunday Express)

Labour launches Christmas campaign against fuel poverty

3 December 2018

Scottish Labour has launched a Christmas campaign on fuel poverty to highlight that the issue will affect one in four homes in Scotland over the holidays. (Press Association)

Sponsored by Calor, the Rural Vulnerability Service is a FREE information service brought to you by the Rural England Community Interest Company in association with the Rural Services Network.

Calor was set up 80 years ago with the intention of bringing clean, efficient and modern energy to rural Britain. This focus continues today with 75% of Calor's business in the British countryside. Calor recognises the need to address climate change and energy efficiency and so has introduced bioLPG to the UK market in 2018, the first LPG supplier to do so. BioLPG requires no changes to the customer’s appliances, it just reduces carbon emissions by up to 80% and burns just as cleanly as fossil LPG.

Furthermore, Calor’s transport solution – LPG Autogas – can deliver significant air quality and environmental benefits, and at around half the cost of petrol and diesel benefits the hard-pressed motorist too. Over 150,000 motorists already benefit from this cleaner and affordable fuel, which is available from over 1,400 refuelling stations across Britain.


Articles in this newsletter are included for information only and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Rural Services Network, Rural England CIC or Calor.

Reports and Publications:

For reports & publications on fuel poverty, click here

For reports & publications on rural broadband, click here

For reports & publications on rural transport, click here

National Statistics:

For UK National Statistics on fuel poverty, click here

For UK National Statistics on rural transport, click here

For UK National Statistics on rural broadband, click here

Useful links:
Fuel Poverty:

Citizens Advice
End Fuel Poverty Coalition
Energy UK
Committee on Fuel Poverty
Health Housing & Fuel
   Poverty Forum

National Energy Action


Broadband for the Rural North
Broadband Delivery UK
Rural Broadband Partnership
Dept Culture, Media & Sport
Independent Networks Cooperative Association (INCA)

Citizens Advice
Campaign for Better Transport
Community Transport Ass'n
CPRE - Transport campaign
Department for Transport
Plunkett Foundation
Transport for Quality of Life

How to save local buses
Guide for those wishing to save local buses from cuts
Buses in crisis
How rural communities have been most damaged by cuts
Integrated transport
How to integrate transport into new developments (pdf)
Transport e-Bulletin
Sign up for regular transport news and campaigns


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