Agenda item

Fuel Poverty

Presented By:Aisha Stewart and Hannah Spungin

Minutes:

Alex Minshull, Climate Change Manager BCC, set the context for the following two items and reported that both fuel poverty and climate change were long standing problems and although good progress had been made in some areas, there was no simple fix and action was required by a lot of agencies across the city as well as changes in policies at national government level.  He confirmed that there were also risks associated by competing pressures and it was important to ensure that action to improve one area would not make things worse in another area.  He also drew attention to BCC initiatives, such as expanding heat networks in the city and the City Leap project, a joint venture with the private sector to support the delivery of the target for Bristol to be carbon neutral by 2030.

 

  1. Presentation by Aisha Stewart and Hannah Spungin

 

HS/AS gave a presentation summarised as follows:

  • unhealthy homes caused problems for people of all ages;
  • a lot of cost was taken by NHS as people often ended up in hospital, but it was a multi-agency problem and not just the responsibility of the health sector;
  • the improvement of people’s homes was essential to keep people out of hospital;
  • improving energy efficiency of homes would reduce poverty as well as reducing CO2;
  • a One City Plan approach had been taken to the Fuel Poverty Action Plan with governance by the Health and Wellbeing Board and endorsement being support from the Environment Sustainability Board and Homes and Communities Board;
  • the action plan had been delayed by COVID 19 and would now be completed in the autumn so it would be in place for winter;
  • actions were both short term and longer term “Just energy transition” – needs to link to decarbonisation of heat plan;
  • technology was constantly changing and so the plan needed to be updated accordingly;
  • one of the joint projects – Warmer Homes Advice and Money (WHAM):
    • WHAM was a partnership between Bristol City Council and the Centre for Sustainable Energy; We Care; Talking Money; Citizens Advice and Bristol Energy Networks. 
    • WHAM gave people one point of contact for advice on reducing financial, food and fuel poverty;
    • There is an online referral form and Freephone number.
  • discussion topics
    • work being undertaken by organisations;
      • new build work? Housing Associations?
      • does FP factor into any of the programs you are currently doing?
      • does FP factor into any of the decision making within your organisation?
      • were you aware of the government target of EPC C by 2030 for Fuel Poor Homes?
    • planned improvement works and Energy Efficiency
      • do you consider homeowners bills when planning energy efficiency or sustainable energy work?
    • support for employees and tenants
      • are you aware of support services for people in Fuel Poverty in Bristol?
      • what would be a useful resource?
  • Ask of BHCB:
    • Provide information on any current actions your organisation is doing around fuel poverty/energy efficiency improvements;
    • Consider any actions your organisation could take to prevent or alleviate fuel poverty or ensure a just transition;
    • Feedback & input on the draft of the action plan;
    •  “No Cold Homes Group” – speak to your organisation about being included in this group.

 

Supporting documents: