The findings of a leadership forum on rural fuel poverty have been published in a whitepaper.
The Green Housing Forum, sponsored by Daikin UK, brought together industry leaders to discuss the issues of funding renewable projects, the challenges faced when tackling fuel poverty and the future of sustainable energy schemes in the countryside.
Hosted by Two Rivers Housing, the event saw the National Housing Federation, the Centre for Sustainable Energy and Daikin UK come together to deliver keynote speeches and take part in roundtable discussions.
The group’s findings have now been published ahead of Rural Housing Week, which runs from Monday, June 30 to Sunday, July 6.
Gill Payne, Director of Policy and External Affairs at the National Housing Federation, used her keynote speech to highlight the need to protect tenants’ incomes in light of welfare reforms.
She said: “Traditionally, the social housing sector has focused on fuel poverty as just a social issue. However, as the sector is learning with the advent of various welfare reforms, there is a business case to be made alongside the social aspect.”
Talking of the event, she said: “It is important we tackle issues such as rural fuel poverty in open forums such as these. Often the discussion focuses on urban communities and it is important we don’t forget those living in isolated communities, many of whom don’t have access to mains gas or electricity.”
As rural housing providers own and manage around 25 per cent of the UK’s social housing stock, the event was well attended by industry leaders.
Iain Bevan, National Sales Manager for Heating and Renewables at Daikin UK, chaired a roundtable event on technology and large-scale schemes. He said: “As a company we are well aware of the issues faced by rural housing associations as they look to help their tenants escape from fuel poverty.”
The company, which supplies low-carbon, energy-efficient air-to-water heat pumps, sponsored the event in reaction to increased interest from housing associations in renewable solutions to help tackle rural fuel poverty.
“The Green Housing Forum has allowed us to explore rural fuel poverty in more depth with leading organisations in the industry.
“As a group we all agreed that renewable energy solutions were a positive answer to some of the problems facing countryside communities. The Green Housing Forum provided a valuable opportunity to share best practices and explore funding options for those looking to kick start new schemes,” says Iain Bevan of Daikin UK.
For more information on the Green Housing Forum, please visit www.daikin.co.uk/greenhousingforum.
To read the whitepaper, visit http://bit.ly/GHF014, or click the link below.ghf14_fuel_poverty-tackling_the_triple_injustice_whitepaper.pdf