#FPRN7: Fuel Poverty in Wales – Cardiff

Cardiff FPRN event

25th - 26th November 2019


The awesome Temple of Peace, on the University of Cardiff campus, seemed a totally fitting venue for a gathering of 40 or sopractitioners and researchers, all passionate about fuel poverty and conscious of its meaning for social justice and people’s health.

We grappled with the enormity of the task of increasing energy efficiency in the housing stock, from Wales to Manchester to the Outer Hebrides (cutting peat to keep warm in your 80s?), and all places in between. We heard about inspiring projects in Wales, from tackling the roots of energy vulnerability, to building energy resilience, from the strategic commitment of the Welsh Government, to creating warm homes one-by-one.

The complexity of fuel poverty – and of the search for its solutions – was emphasised by the range of connections that we discussed –connections with health, energy pricing, technology, isolation and social engagement, transport, air quality, gender equality, and more. Discussion returned frequently to the question of energy justice and how to avoid the risk of worsening fuel poverty in the transition to a zero-carbon economy.

We challenged what ‘cost effectiveness’ means in the context of increasing energy efficiency, when the health and social costs of fuel poverty are so often ignored in the calculation, let alone the cost to the planet. Throughout the event, from our eminent keynote speakers, Prof Phil Jones of the Welsh School of Architecture and Brenda Boardman of ECI at Oxford University, to the newest researchers and practitioners, it was the human dimension of fuel poverty and the search for people-centred solutions that quite rightly dominated the discussion.

The unexpected factor of meeting in the run-up to theElection, focused our minds on the role of government in tackling fuel poverty.We heard that all the main parties have committed to spend new money on this. Now’s the opportunity to lobby PPCs on this issue and, whatever happens on 12thDecember, hold them to their promises!

Finally, we shared our thoughts on the ongoing work of FPRN and reasserted what we want from the Network: to build understanding of this wicked issue, to grow wider and stronger networks, and, above all, to influence change. The task is as daunting as ever, but the event was a shot of inspiration, a great place to make and renew contacts, and a timely reminder of the change that informed, determined, groups of people can and do make.

Diolch am groesawu y RhwydwaithYmchwil Tlodi Tanwydd i Gaerdydd
Thank you for welcoming the Fuel Poverty Research Network to Cardiff

Download the Event Programme (pdf)

Presentations from the Event

Day 1 – Monday 25th November

Professor Phil Jones delivers his keynote presentation

Lightning Talks (1)

  • Hosein Abassi, Liverpool John Moores University Mandating the end of fossil-fuel heating systems in the UK houses: new opportunity or challenge for fuel poverty
  • Graeme Sherriff, University of Salford Fuel poverty in the Outer Hebrides (0.3mb pdf)
  • Helen Melone, Energy Action Scotland Fuel poverty and gender (0.6mb pdf)



Day 2 – Tuesday 26th November

Brenda Boardman discusses new frontiers for fuel poverty in her keynote

Lightning Talks (2)