In 2013 NEA, as part of the Northern Exposure project produced a report in partnership with the University of Ulster and the Public Health Agency, ‘Alleviating Fuel Poverty in North and West Belfast, Northern Ireland’.
NEA engaged the University of Ulster to undertake research into the mental health and wellbeing impacts of fuel poverty and how energy efficiency measures can be used to combat them. A significant outcome from the research was it demonstrated to key stakeholders, including the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Public Health Agency that energy efficiency measures delivered alongside a managed network of support can assist fuel poor households and deliver improvements in health and wellbeing.
Belfast City Councillor, Steven Corr who is based in West Belfast attended the launch of the Northern Exposure report ‘Alleviating fuel poverty in North and West Belfast, Northern Ireland’. Enthused by the outcomes of the report, Councillor Corr in partnership with NEA and the Public Health Agency convened a working group in the area of Whiterock and Westrock. The aim was to deliver an intervention to maximise access to grants, services and benefits, using a local based approach. The objectives of the intervention were to include:
- energy efficiency measures and advice;
- access to support around benefits and debt; and
- an assessment and use of local services (i.e. Healthy Living Centres and West Belfast Area partnership).