#FPRN4 Society, Technology and Fuel Poverty

Newcastle FPRN event

6th - 7th November 2017
Newcastle University

The fourth meeting of the Fuel Poverty Research Network – #FPRN4 – took place on Monday 6th and Tuesday 7th November and centred on areas of research and action that have explored the interrelated themes of society, technology and fuel poverty. The event was held at the Urban Sciences Building, located on the City’s flagship Science Central site, and was hosted by National Energy Action (NEA), the University of Newcastle’s School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, and the National Centre for Energy Systems Integration (CESI). The Urban Sciences Building, opened in Autumn 2017, is home to state-of-the-art international and collaborative research into digitally enabled urban sustainability.


Opening the event on Day 1 was NEA’s Research Manager, Helen Stockton, Newcastle University’s Dr Gareth Powells, and FRPN committee member, Danielle Butler.  Introducing the overarching theme for the event, Dr Graeme Sherriff (University of Salford and FPRN committee member) began the afternoon session with an overview of socio-technical concepts and practical examples: Fuel Poverty Research Network: Socio-technical concepts (pdf)

The remainder of the afternoon on Day 1 looked at NEA’s Health and Innovation Programme (HIP), which is a £26.2 million programme to bring affordable warmth to fuel poor and vulnerable households in England, Scotland and Wales.

The afternoon session closed with a panel discussion with David, Heather and Helen.


Opening the second day of FPRN4 was CESI’s Dr Sara Walker who discussed the work of national centre around energy systems integration and taking a whole systems approach to energy trilemma: CESI: A Whole Systems Approach (pdf)

Following Sarah’s presentation, and an introduction to CESI, FPRN members split off into smaller groups to consider the following four key questions related to the event theme:

“Interdisciplinary and cross-sector working: bringing about innovations in tackling fuel poverty”

  • Who should be involved – what sectors, what disciplines?
  • What are the barriers to this type of working– are there any sector specific or discipline specific challenges?
  • What ways have you deployed to overcomethese?
  • What specific innovations (technical and/or social) would you like to see and why?

Attendees then heard from three expert perspectives from the field of policy, practice, and industry, which included presentations from:





In the afternoon of Day 2, attendees heard from eight members of the FPRN  who gave five-minute lightening presentations on current research projects.






Lastly, to view a Storify of #FPRN4 compiled from tweets shared by attendees of the two-day event see here.

A big thank you to all who attended, presented at and helped to organise FPRN4. We look forward to welcoming network members to FPRN5 set to take place in the Spring of 2018 – more information will be added to this website and sent out to the network in the new year.