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Multifaceted research programme 1. Review and analysis of government survey data relating to fuel poverty and older people (RoI,NI) 2.Exploratory non-representative.

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Presentation on theme: "Multifaceted research programme 1. Review and analysis of government survey data relating to fuel poverty and older people (RoI,NI) 2.Exploratory non-representative."— Presentation transcript:

1 Multifaceted research programme 1. Review and analysis of government survey data relating to fuel poverty and older people (RoI,NI) 2.Exploratory non-representative survey based on an opportunistic sample of older people (n=722) accessed through a range of services and groups interfacing with older people – their experiences and behaviours in cold weather in the context of their housing, health and social circumstances 3.Feasibility study of data logging thermometers in the homes of older people residing in local authority accommodation in Dublin 4.Analysis of excess winter mortality patterns ( ; RoI, NI)

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4 1.What we learnt from the government survey data Older people’s homes and how these are heated What the fuel poverty figures tell us (and don’t tell us) Root causes of fuel poverty among older people Vulnerable groups of older people

5 Older people’s homes – a recipe for fuel poverty? Detached/ semi-detached Old house ( fabric of house, insulation, old heating system) Poor condition Low occupancy Owner occupied homes predominant tenure

6 Lacking central heating (%) by age group – RoI & NI

7 What the fuel poverty indicators tell us and don’t tell us.. (1)Have you been able to keep your house adequately warm? (2)Have you had to go without heating in the last year because you could not afford it? (3) Percentage of income spent on heat and light (4) In arrears on energy bills (5) Ever been or currently cut off for non-payment of energy bills

8 Root causes of fuel poverty among older people – is there a silver bullet? Fuel prices Incomes Energy efficiency

9 Vulnerability and prioritisation Older people living alone Owner occupiers as much as those in social housing Older people in private rented accommodation but numbers of these are currently low Rural older people in Northern Ireland Older people with disability/ limiting long term illness

10 Survey exploring the impact of cold weather on older people Aim: To learn about the lived experiences of older householders in the Republic of Ireland Method: Non-representative survey sample in the Republic of Ireland

11 Methods, Design & Limitations Small convenience sample – self completion Survey design with input from agencies Distributed via Dublin City Council, community & voluntary sector who have contact with older people In excess of 2,000 survey distributed and 722 valid and completed returns made

12 The survey focussed on the following: How older people dealt with the cold weather What fuels older people are using in their homes and how they are managing these systems What type of energy efficiency measures older people are using Socio-demographic information to include health and disability

13 Sample demographics: Average age was 72.5 years old 73.1% lived alone 51.8% were home owners 72% live in an urban city or suburb Health status: 90% described their health status as fair to very good Arthritis, diabetes and circulation problems frequently occurring

14 Housing Condition (N=722) 109 households reported having damp, mould or black stains on walls, windows, doors or ceiling 209 households reported having draughts 508 households had at least double glazing for at least half their homes’ windows 384 households had water cylinder lagging jackets 280 households reported having attic insulation 397 households reported having energy saving light bulbs in most rooms 651 households with smoke alarms – 76 households with carbon monoxide alarms

15 Heating systems: 83.5% reported having central heating 64% used mains gas, 26.7% used oil Oil payments in cash Low level of switching suppliers 391 save to pay their energy bills, 75 cannot afford to save 16 people in gas arrears/16 people in electricity arrears

16 Cost concerns: 62.2% somewhat/very worried about the price of heating the home 28.1% somewhat/very worried about the supply being cut off due to not being able to pay the bill 322 respondents forgo other necessities to avoid arrears “I know I’ll pay it! Regardless of how many cuts I have to make in my personal budget. Food, leisure, pleasure – when it comes down to it, eat and heat are simple!” Of the people who used their heating system more during the cold snap, 71% were concerned about their bills because of this.

17 Cold weather behaviours 74.3% temperature of the home just right, 24.1% home too cold Staying indoors, heating on, hot food and drinks, hot water bottles, extra clothing layers and blankets Good neighbours Responses to cold weather outside as well as indoor temperatures?

18 THANK YOU Dr Noelle Cotter & Dr Helen McAvoy Institute of Public Health in Ireland


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