The University of Ulster Preliminary Review was commissioned by the Department for Social Development (DSD) Northern Ireland in August 2010. It comprises the first of three independent Reviews of Fuel Poverty being carried out in different parts of the UK.
Chapter 1 outlines the relationships which ideally pertain between Definition, Strategy, Policy, and Implementation Programmes, illustrating the extent to which they should all be embedded in a single framework.
Chapter 2 outlines the rationale for a review in Northern Ireland. The region experiences some of the coldest climatic conditions in the UK, as well as having the highest rates of fuel poverty.
Chapter 3 begins a series of 6 chapters which examine contested aspects of the UK Fuel Poverty Definition. It concludes that the World Health Organisation’s Guidelines for an adequate standard of warmth should be more fully complied with when advocating indoor temperatures for vulnerable people.
Chapter 4 examines the Strategy’s claim that it opted for a definition which was “widely accepted”.
Chapter 5 examines a vital aspect of the definition, namely “needs to spend”.
Chapter 6 examines an equally important aspect of the definition, namely the decision to opt for “10% of income” as the threshold beyond which a household would be classified as fuel poor.
Chapter 7 examines income and the many metrics that have been used to assess it when analyzing fuel poverty.
Chapter 8 assesses whether “all household fuel use” should be replaced with a metric which measures heating demand only.
Chapter 9 describes the health impacts of tackling fuel poverty, and the extent to which the Strategy has been responsible for programmes that are unusually cost-effective.
Chapter 10 seeks synergies between the recently published Northern Ireland Fuel Poverty Strategy (2011) and the Preliminary Review.
Chapter 11 concludes the Preliminary Review.