Fuel poverty in Birmingham - networking meeting

Update April 2013

Birmingham's Affordable Warmth Partnership

Moseley CDT has worked with partners in the voluntary sector and the City Council to ensure the issue of fuel poverty was included in the Bishop of Birmingham's inquiry in to social inclusion. A white paper has been produced (called giving hope changing lives) now and it contains a recommendation that an Affordable Warmth Partnership is established to help tackle fuel poverty in the City. Moseley CDT continues to work with others to develop Birmingham's first Affordable Warmth Partnership.

Update July 2012

Professor John Hills (from the LSE and an advisor to Government on Fuel Poverty) made a presentation to a small group in Moseley on the 2nd July. He quickly highlighted the three issues that overlap and influence Fuel Poverty: Poverty, Health and Carbon. Also, how the increase in fuel poverty has followed the increase in fuel costs.
The other important factor Prof. Hills raised, was how to measure the problem. The current measure for Fuel Poverty is to ask if somebody is spending more than 10% of their income on their fuel bills. Prof Hills has concerns over this approach, since it can include households that are not considered poor and doesn’t express the extent and depth of the problem. Therefore, he has developed an alternative way to measure the problem, designed to identify those most at risk and where resources should be directed. It takes in to consideration the low incomes of families and the high cost of fuel. Using this measure, it’s clear that the problem of Fuel Poverty is urgent and widespread. In our opinion, there is an urgent need for Birmingham to use Prof. Hill’s methodology to better understand the scale of Fuel Poverty in the City. The Government has forecast that 3.9 million households will be in fuel poverty in 2012 and the Minister responsible agrees “fuel poverty is a serious national problem”.

At the same meeting we heard from colleagues in Birmingham City Council about the impact of the “Stay Warm Stay Well” project and how over 1400 households had been helped in just over 3 months. The project had demonstrated the value and success of a joined up approach that included the third sector.

You can download a presentation from Prof. Hills and the evaluation report from the Stay Warm Stay Well project at the bottom of this page.

Update May 2012

At the Spending Review in October 2010 the Government announced it would commission an independent review to take a fresh look at the fuel poverty target and definition. On 14 March 2011 the former Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Chris Huhne MP, announced that Professor John Hills had been requested to undertake this review. The final report was published on 15 March 2012 and the review has now concluded.

You can see Prof. Hill's report at DECC website

Update April 2012

Moseley Community Development Trust has been a partner in delivering the Stay Warm Stay Well project this winter and has continued to help vulnerable people living in fuel poverty. The project has continued to highlight the high numbers of people unable to keep their homes warm and who's health is being damaged by living in a cold home. More recently and as phase one of Stay Warm Stay Well comes to end we have contributed to the debate about social inclusion, that is being led by Be Birmingham.

You can see our initial contribution at http://fairbrum.wordpress.com/

Tackling fuel poverty in Birmingham

Moseley Community Development and Phil Beardmore (environmental consultant) organised an event to discuss fuel poverty in Birmingham. This a serious and growing issue for many people, as energy costs rise and incomes fall people find it harder to keep their homes warm and stay healthy.

Sponsors: European Anti Poverty Network – England. 2010 was the European year for combating poverty and social exclusion. EY2010 want to bring together those experiencing poverty and groups to discuss the challenges they face. Family Housing Association also helped with the costs.

When: June 28th, 9.30am till 2.00pm
Where: Moseley Exchange, 149-153 Alcester Road, Moseley, Birmingham B13 8JP
Purpose: Networking event to share good practice and to consider the formation of an affordable warmth partnership in Birmingham

What happened?

There were a series of presentations from organisations tackling fuel poverty:

Understanding Fuel Poverty in Birmingham
Phil Beardmore – Environmental consultant

Third sector responses
Green Doctor service –Selena Ellis, Richard Schneider
High Street Energy – Luke Olly
Birmingham Settlement – Margaret Farrell
Localise WM – John Morris

Public sector responses
Birmingham Energy Savers – Bill Goodfellow
Birmingham health through warmth – Kyle Stott

Private sector responses
EON – Keith Budden

Development of an Affordable Warmth Partnership in Birmingham
Experiences from Walsall – Mandy Findlay, Energy Efficiency Officer, Walsall MBC.

Birmingham fuel poverty 2 July 2012.ppt3.36 MB
Stay Warm Stay Well Interim Eval Report - Exec Summary.pdf99.56 KB