The Warm Homes Fund (WHF) has been found to have had “largely positive and substantial impacts” on the lives of many households.
On 3 August, National Energy Action (NEA), in partnership with the University of Newcastle and the Energy Audit Company (EAC), published interim findings into an evaluation of the £150mn scheme. Interviews with beneficiary households found the WHF had impacted energy affordability, subjective fuel poverty and both physical and mental health. One household estimated their bills had dropped 25% in the 12 months following a central heating installation, while another saw a monthly direct debit payment of around £100 fall to £59.
The most common groups targeted to identify clients were households with poor energy efficiency ratings (73%), those in fuel poverty (73%) and those in receipts of means-tested benefits or low income (70.3%). Of projects surveyed, 90% felt their eligibility criteria was either working extremely or fairly well, while all delivery partners to be interviewed believed the key successes of their projects had been providing help to vulnerable or fuel poor households. The main delivery challenges identified included managing installation delays (36.1%), working with contracts or supply chain (27.8%), project administration (25%), and identifying suitable households (25%).
The evaluation consortium will analyse the impact of the WHF on fuel poverty and energy efficiency for the first time, based on energy modelling using secondary data from WHF delivery projects, later in 2020, with the full evaluation set to conclude in December 2022.