The Northern Ireland Fuel Poverty Coalition held a major conference at Corick Country House Hotel, Clogher, Co. Tyrone on Wednesday 28th February 2018.  The agenda included the Northern Ireland Fuel Poverty Landscape, the decarbonisation agenda, and making energy efficiency an infrastructure priority.

 

Speakers from across the UK & Ireland, including a political panel provided presentations and discussions on the future of energy in Northern Ireland.

 

The conference programme can be downloaded here, and the presentations delivered by speakers on the day can be downloaded via the links below. 

Session One

 

Chaired by Pat Austin, Chair of the Fuel Poverty Coalition and Director of National Energy Action NI; the panel discussed Affordable Warmth, the Clean Growth Strategy and the need for an action plan for a comprehensive buildings energy infrastructure programme. 

 

All Roads Lead to the Clean Growth Strategy
Peter Smith | Director of Policy and Research | National Energy Action
Affordable Warmth, Clean Growth — Implications for Northern Ireland
Claire Thornhill | Frontier Economics

 

Session Two

 

This panel was also Chaired by Pat Austin, Chair of the Fuel Poverty Coalition and Director of National Energy Action NI.  The speakers provided presentations on the Role of Regulation and Poverty in Northern Ireland.

 

Consumer Protection
Kevin Shiels | Director of Retail Markets and Consumer Protection | Utility Regulator
An overview of the impact of Welfare Reform & The Mitigations Package in NI
Kevin Higgins, Head of Policy and Research, Advice NI 
 
Elizabeth’s Story – NEA NI Case Study
Angela Gracey-Roger | Project Co-ordinator | NEA Northern Ireland
This case study highlights the importance of partnership working and through this, the help that NEA NI’s Northern Exposure Project can provide to householders living in Fuel Poverty.  It is also significant in showcasing what the Northern Ireland Sustainable Energy Programme (NISEP) can deliver to assisting householders in fuel poverty and filling in gaps from other Fuel Poverty programmes. Please click the following link to read Elizabeth’s Story.
 
The provision of free, independent, confidential and impartial advice
Sharon Smith, Advice Coordinator, Citizens Advice Mid Ulster

 

Session Three

 

This session heard from representatives throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland on their respective responses to making energy efficiency an infrastructure priority.  The panel was chaired by Nigel Brady, Director, Bryson Energy.

 

Fuel Poverty in Scotland
Scott Restrick | Technical and Training Manager | Energy Action Scotland
Overview of Issues in Wales
Carole Morgan-Jones, Director, NEA Cymru
 
Energy Trends in Ireland — Past and Future
Martin Finucane, Principal Officer, Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment
 
Views on Energy Efficiency as an Infrastructure Priority
Patrick Thompson, NI Operations Manager, Energy Saving Trust
 
Energy Efficiency as an Infrastructure Priority / Affordable Warmth Scheme
Martin McDermott, Head of Fuel Poverty, Department for Communities

Session Four — A Political Panel

 

The political panel outlined their position with regards to tackling fuel poverty.  The panel was Chaired by David Crothers, Advisor to NEA and included:

  Tanya Jones, Deputy Leader, Green Party
  Councillor Howard Thornton, Ulster Unionist Party (UUP)
  Francie Molloy MP, Sinn Féin
  Shaun Harkin, People Before Profit

 

The Fuel Poverty Coalition Conference Report can be downloaded here.

 

Why don’t you see if you can spot yourself in the photo gallery below?  Images can be downloaded by right clicking your mouse.

 

Conference Image Gallery