The New Thames Valley Vision (NTVV) full bid submission [SSEPD 2011] defines the Successful Delivery Reward Criteria (SDRC) that must be met in line with the project milestones. The key topics covered within this report as defined by the SDRC evidence requirements are as follows:

  • Evaluation of fuel poverty;
  • Low carbon choices; and
  • Economic consequences of low carbon technologies (LCT).

Scottish & Southern Energy Power Distribution (SSEPD) confirms that the SDRC criteria have been met.

Evaluation of fuel poverty
This report considers the way in which fuel poverty is classified, identified and measured and how this informs measures to reduce and alleviate the effects of fuel poverty.

The Low Income High Costs (LIHC) methodology for measuring fuel poverty in England was intended to quantify the total scale of fuel poverty (in the form of the fuel poverty gap) as well as the number of households affected. Much like previous methods of addressing fuel poverty, the LIHC methodology is not without its critics and may result in counterintuitive classifications, where consumers who could clearly struggle to meet fuel costs do not meet the criteria for fuel poverty. Furthermore, the actual identification of individual fuel poor households is complicated by the fact that the data required to apply this definition is not necessarily available for every property. Finally, the homes most in need of energy efficiency treatment are not necessarily those in fuel poverty, for example homes with vulnerable residents (e.g. the very old, very young and people with disabilities).

Government policy prioritises reducing the total fuel poverty gap (i.e. the aggregate severity of fuel poverty) over reducing the number of fuel poor households. In recent years, despite fuel costs increasing, there has been a reduction in the number of fuel poor households and in the aggregate fuel poverty gap. This is in part due to government programmes aimed at improving the energy efficiency of the housing stock and more specifically addressing the homes of the fuel poor. Grant based programmes have been generally successful at targeting low-income households. Most recent DECC data shows that there are now approximately 2.35 million fuel poor households, which equates to 10% of the households in England.