Making Decarbonisation Fair: An International Conference on a Global Issue

PRESS RELEASE

A global clean energy transition is technically possible. Ensuring it is also ‘fair’ gives rise to challenges that can be addressed only through targeted action in spheres related to access to energy and energy services, environmental and climate change impacts associated with energy production and consumption, energy pricing, and geographical, social and cultural considerations.

Making Decarbonisation Fair (1-4 March 2021) will bring together more than 380 actors and academics from diverse perspectives to explore current barriers and possible solutions, and who needs to do what to ensure the global bid to reach net-zero emissions does not adversely affect vulnerable groups. Major themes include gender and energy poverty; how energy poverty relates to other types of poverty; and inclusive social movements to influence energy policy. Day 1 (1 March) will put Portugal in the spotlight, including a presentation by João Galamba, Portuguese Deputy Minister and Secretary of State for Energy.

“In Europe, data suggest 50 to 80 million low-income and vulnerable households already face energy poverty,” says Dr. Aimee Ambrose, Chair of Fuel Poverty Research Network (FPRN). “While a clean energy transition is critical, we will need strong action in policy and related spheres to uphold the principle of a ‘right to energy’ as outlined in Article 18 of the EU Pillar of Social Rights.”[1] 

With video presentations uploaded to an online library in advance, a unique feature of this event is a strong focus on opportunity for interaction. In each 90-minute session, presenters will be limited to 5 minutes each, leaving a full hour for audience engagement. 

Ensuring all citizens have sufficient energy to support health, well-being and a dignified quality of life is a core principle of calls for universal access to reliable, sustainable and modern energy, as outlined in the UN Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) and in the EU Just Energy Transition.

The past 20 years have brought to the fore the need to ensure not just access but also affordability. Substantial advances have been made in deploying low-cost electricity in developing countries, yet 831 million people still lack access and 3 billion continue to rely on wood and biomass for cooking and heating. In industrialised countries, where energy is readily available, the aspect of affordability is what drives people into ‘energy poverty’. 

It is now clear that relying solely on market forces will not deliver a just clean energy transition: this event seeks to identify where intervention by other actors is needed and raise awareness of effective solutions ready for broader application.  

For more information, visit the event web site: Making Decarbonisation Fair

[1] https://ec.europa.eu/info/european-pillar-social-rights


FPRN welcomes new Fuel Poverty Strategy for England

Following the 2019 consultation, this week the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have published the new Fuel Poverty Strategy for England Sustainable Warmth: Protecting vulnerable households in England. It is accompanied by a response to the consultation.

The strategy, detailing 21 commitments, sets out the Government’s plan to meet the statutory 2030 fuel poverty target, as well as aligning these efforts to wider social, health and environmental goals, including the application of the NICE (NG6) guidelines on cold homes and health and achieving Net Zero by 2050. Progress will be measured against a new measure – Low Income Low Energy Efficiency (LILEE) – which replaces the Low Income High Cost (LIHC) indicator.

‘The Fuel Poverty Research Network are delighted to see the work of its members acknowledged in the Fuel Poverty Strategy for England. The network looks forward to continuing to work with BEIS in identifying gaps in the evidence base and driving forward the research agenda in key areas such as the climate crisis, health and housing inequalities and education.’

Eaga Charitable Trust makes final grant payment to FPRN

Eaga Charitable Trust has made its final grant payment before closure to the Fuel Poverty Research Network (FPRN) for a two-year project to support postgraduate students, early career researchers and early career practitioners.  The project aims to contribute to efforts to tackle fuel and energy poverty through original research, publication and participation in events, conferences and symposia. Entitled ‘Engaging with Energy Poverty in Early Career’ (EPEC), it will see the FPRN award small research grants across two rounds of funding, in addition to bursaries to enable those in their early career to engage with the international debate around fuel and energy poverty by attending and contributing to conferences and events.  

David Kidney, Chair of Eaga Charitable Trust, said: “This is the Trust’s final grant award before it closes. For over 25 years Eaga Charitable Trust has worked tirelessly to promote high quality research, its dissemination and practical application. We have been particularly keen to support young researchers at the start of their career, and their talent and strong commitment to help eradicate fuel poverty is impressive. We are delighted that the Trust’s remaining funds have been allocated to developing work to support early career researchers and practitioners and the Fuel Poverty Research Network is uniquely placed to undertake this project.”

Professor Aimee Ambrose, Chair of the Fuel Poverty Research Network explained: “Our Network is, first and foremost, a forum where the producers and users of fuel poverty research and intelligence can come together to pursue their shared aims, and what’s distinctive about the EPEC project is that we are encouraging academics and practitioners to work together to access the funding. We welcome research that prioritises exploration of lived experiences of energy poverty, and which enables knowledge transfer between research, policy and practice.”  

The project will be led and delivered by the FPRN Trustees and will be overseen by an Independent Advisory Committee comprising fuel and energy poverty experts of international repute.  Opportunities to apply for funding under the EPEC project will be advertised next month.

Notes to Editors

[1] The Eaga Charitable Trust was an independent grant-giving trust that supported research focused on understanding and addressing the causes and effects of fuel poverty.  The Trust has now closed  and, to ensure that its impact continues into the future, it has produced an online research archive and a range of resources directed at policy makers and practitioners which can be found at http://www.fuelpovertylibrary.info/.

[2] FPRN was created in April 2016 with the intention of fostering dialogue between research and practice. This has been realised through seven events around the UK and the creation of a lively email list (191 members currently). In 2021 we will deliver our first intentional event in Portugal with funding from the EU Engager COST Action. In 2019 the Network became a registered charity and amongst its objectives is the provision of support to researchers and practitioners early in their career. For further information about the FPRN, please visit our website at: https://www.fuelpovertyresearch.net/. You can contact Aimee Ambrose, Chair of the FPRN at: aimee[at]fuelpovertyresearch.net.

Engaging with Energy Poverty in Early Career: Eaga Charitable Trust’s final grant awarded to the Fuel Poverty Research Network

Eaga Charitable Trust Logo


NEWS RELEASE 9th April 202

The Fuel Poverty Research Network (FPRN) has been awarded funding from the Eaga Charitable Trust for a 3 year project to support postgraduate students, early career researchers and early career practitioners. The project aims to contribute to efforts to tackle fuel and energy poverty through original research, publication and participation in events, conferences and symposia. Entitled ‘Engaging with Energy Poverty in Early Career’ (EPEC), it will see the FPRN award in the region of twenty small research grants across two rounds of funding and will also award up to twenty bursaries to enable those in their early career to engage with the international debate around fuel and energy poverty by attending and contributing to conferences and events. Opportunities to apply for funding under the EPEC project will be advertised in the autumn.

David Kidney, Chair of Eaga Charitable Trust, said “This will be the Trust’s final grant award before it closes in May. For many years we have supported academics and practitioners in the early stages of their careers, by co-hosting pan-European early career researchers’ symposiums, funding bursaries and awarding research grants. We are delighted that the Trust’s remaining funds will be allocated to developing work to support early career researchers, and the Fuel Poverty Research Network is uniquely placed to undertake this project.”

Dr Aimee Ambrose, Chair of the Fuel Poverty Research Network explained: “What’s distinctive about this project is that it will require academics and practitioners to work together to access the research funding. We hope that these partnerships between the academic and practice communities will create greater scope for policy impact and influence in connection with fuel poverty research.”

The project will be led and delivered by the FPRN Trustees and will be overseen by an Independent Advisory Committee comprised of fuel and energy poverty experts of international repute. 

Notes to Editors

  1. The Eaga Charitable Trust is an independent grant-giving trust that supports research which focuses on understanding and addressing the causes and effects of fuel poverty.  The Trust will close in May 2020 and, to ensure that its impact continues into the future, it has produced an online research archive and a range of resources directed at policy makers and practitioners which can be found at http://www.fuelpovertylibrary.info/.  For further information about the Trust, contact Naomi Brown, Trust Manager: e-mail eagact@aol.com; tel. 01539 736477.
  1. FPRN was created in April 2016 with the intention of fostering dialogue between research and practice. This has been realised through seven events around the UK and the creation of a lively email list (191 members currently). In 2020 we will deliver our first intentional event in Portugal with funding from the EU Engager COST Action. In 2019 the organisation became a registered charity and amongst its objectives is the provision of support to researchers and practitioners early in their career. For further information about the FPRN, please visit our website at: https://www.fuelpovertyresearch.net/. You can contact Aimee Ambrose, Chair of the FPRN at: aimee@fuelpovertyresearch.net; tel. 07771 615810.

Farewell to Eaga CT and new beginnings for FPRN

On 16th October 2019, the FPRN committee headed to London en mass to help celebrate 25 years of Eaga Charitable Trust at the House of Lords. We were joined by esteemed colleagues from far and wide including representatives of the academic, policy and VCS communities.

This was a bitter-sweet occasion as it marked the closure of the trust, which has provided much needed dedicated fuel poverty research funding for a quarter of a century. I would imagine that when the Trust was established, the founding trustees imagined (and hoped) that fuel poverty would soon be consigned to history. However, it won’t surprise anyone within the FPRN community to learn that it has endured and evolved to become what can only be described as a wicked problem afflicting the UK (and many other countries around the world) winter after winter.

Together we celebrated the important and sometimes risky research that the Trust have funded when mainstream funders wouldn’t. We celebrated the new knowledge and breakthroughs created and the vital insights gained. We celebrated the important research careers that the trust has supported through bursaries and grants. We mourned the loss of the only dedicated fuel poverty research funder at a time when ~2.5 million households in England are in fuel poverty and when the (international) community of researchers willing to dedicate their work to the eradication of the problem is greater than ever. 

FPRN’s Aimee Ambrose speaking at the House of Lords event

It was a big day for the FPRN committee as trustee Dr Graeme Sherriff launched the incredible resource that is the online Fuel Poverty Research Library. This makes available all the outputs funded by Eaga Charitable Trust over its 25 year life, in the form of a library structured by key themes, a set of guides for policy makers, and catchy animations. It also includes a new study on future directions for fuel poverty research and a survey of researchers who benefits from the support of Eaga CT.

Fuel Poverty Library themes
The online Fuel Poverty Research Library

FPRN Chair Aimee Ambrose gave a speech thanking Eaga CT for their investment towards the eradication of fuel poverty  and for their support for the individual careers of network members. She implored the audience, which included politicians, civil servants and many policy influencers, to finally consign fuel poverty to history. She talked about how the FPRN had been inspired by Eaga CT to champion early career researchers and practitioners working in the field to ensure that the brightest minds are brought to bear on the problem. 

The event marked an ending for Eaga CT but a new beginning for the FPRN as it enters its first year as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation or CIO, gears up to its 7th event in Cardiff in November and it’s first international conference in 2020. At the event, we made an important pledge to help, in some small way, to fill the gap left by Eaga CT by fostering a new generation of professionals determined to consign fuel poverty to history and ensure it does not become a defining feature of their present. We also pledged to continue to unite academic, policy and practice in their shared commitment to end the misery.

Farewell to Eaga CT – we will do all we can to uphold your legacy and ensure your high standards live on. 

Dr Aimee Ambrose, Chair of Trustees
October 2019


FPRN becomes a Charity

We’re pleased to report to everyone connected with FPRN that it has now registered as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation. This step paves the way for FPRN to increase its work promoting dialogue and collaboration between fuel poverty researchers and practitioners and supporting research. You can find the Constitution and Objects on the website. 

We are optimistic that new funding and partnerships will enable FPRN to boost support for researchers, especially Early Career Researchers, expand the JISCMail network and build on FPRN’s track-record of successful events for practitioners and researchers (have you booked your place yet at FPRN7 25-26 Nov in Cardiff?) Look out for more on FPRN’s future plans coming soon.