Cold homes: New Toolkit and the challenges for HMOs

We are delighted to post information on this new publication, the Centre for Sustainable Energy’s (CSE) Affordable Warmth and Health Impact Evaluation Toolkit (April 2016).

This toolkit is available to help local organisations assess what difference their fuel poverty schemes make to the health and wellbeing of target users. It’s been developed by Centre for Sustainable Energy’s research team in partnership with the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), and with oversight by experts in the fields of health and evaluation from a number of organisations, including Department for Health, Public Health England and a range of front line delivery organisations.

Senior Researcher Nicky Hodges led the work at CSE. She said:

“This is a useful tool to show whether improvements in people’s health are linked to the interventions they’ve been offered. Schemes at the local level are very diverse so we’ve built flexibility into the tool to deal with this. We hope that this tool with help organisations demonstrate the contribution their scheme makes to people’s health and wellbeing.”

William Boohan, at DECC, commented that:

“This toolkit was born out of conversations with local groups who told us that, though they knew evaluation to be a useful tool to validate what they were doing, they didn’t always have the resources or expertise to carry one out. We hope this toolkit will help redress that situation.”

The toolkit includes case study examples of affordable warmth schemes that have incorporated health impact evaluation. It provides guidance on planning and resourcing an evaluation, making sure you collect appropriate data, suggestions on working with the health sector, thinking through ethical considerations and reporting with impact. It is a free resource. By supporting evaluation of the health impacts of schemes, the toolkit is anticipated to help unlock funding held at the local level.

DECC and CSE would be happy to hear of your experiences using this toolkit and to take on board ideas for how it could be improved.

And in addition! More good news is the ongoing research into energy efficiency and fuel poverty in houses in multiple occupation.  We have just been alerted to this open access paper from People, Place and Policy: Energy vulnerability in multiple occupancy housing: a problem that policy forgot – a title that says it all really. It is an essential read for anyone working in HMOs and for us we are particularly excited that it includes reference to some of work (see references from Barratt and Stewart). Of the Stewart (1999) paper I would like to mention that this was my first peer reviewed publication but although dated in places, is still being read. It shows the importance of our work to a far wider audience and what may be routine for us is of immense interest to others.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s