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Don’t be late! Findings from reported perceptions and complaints of energy efficiency retrofits in low-income housing in England

Hamilton, IG; Agnolucci, P; Oreszczyn, T; (2016) Don’t be late! Findings from reported perceptions and complaints of energy efficiency retrofits in low-income housing in England. In: Proceedings of the 2016 International Energy Policies & Programmes Evaluation Conference. International Energy Policy & Program Evaluation (IEPPEC): Amsterdam, Netherlands. Green open access

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Abstract

Between 2000 and 2013, the Warm Front Scheme sought to reduce heating fuel expenditure in vulnerable households in England, i.e. those on various forms of benefits or income support. The scheme assisted more than 2.4 million households through providing energy efficiency retrofits. An evaluation of the scheme was undertaken for the period 2005-2013 when over 1.5 million households were assisted. During the delivery of the scheme, support was provided for application, installation and post-installation support. Approximately 48,000 households called in to make a complaint during the evaluation period. Using the database of complaints collected by the call centre, the nature, content and issue, and the resolution of the complaint were examined. For households with a retrofit the complaints were connected along with the timing of the complaints. The findings show that while most installations were trouble-free, a substantial minority of customers experienced problems with their installation and that the proportion of complaints increased over the course of the scheme, particularly in the final two years. This appears to be, in part, a result of the increase in complex and major retrofits, but also to be due to complaints from unsuccessful applicants, following tightening of the eligibility criteria. Unsuccessful applicants were, understandably, generally less satisfied. Other areas of dissatisfaction amongst applicants focused around poor communication during wait times, and faults arising with what had been installed. This research examines an often under-reported part of retrofit programmes, i.e. the nature of the complaints related to the delivery of the programme and the retrofits, and how they were dealt with. For scheme designers and providers, understanding what aspects of the programme process are working or not is essential to ensuring a positive re-enforcement around retrofits and their uptake.

Type: Proceedings paper
Title: Don’t be late! Findings from reported perceptions and complaints of energy efficiency retrofits in low-income housing in England
Event: International Energy Policy & Programme Evaluation Conference, 7 - 9 June 2016, Amsterdam
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Dates: 07 June 2016 - 09 June 2016
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://www.ieppec.org/
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1498982
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