This report presents an evaluation of the HES Homecare pilot, which aimed to test the Energycarer approach to tackling rural fuel poverty in two rural areas.

The Energycarer approach seeks to provide support in accessing energy retrofitting opportunities and funding for vulnerable rural fuel poor households who may require multiple points of contact and face-to-face visits, rather than single phone calls offered through traditional services.

The pilot indicates that a more systematic strategy, including support for public health and social care services operating in liaison with neighbourhood and community organisations is needed.

The findings contribute to a series of lessons learned for tackling rural fuel poverty in the future:

  • Longer timeframes are required to establish the organisational structure and relationships with partner organisations in schemes of this type.
  • An area-based approach to identifying vulnerable people and subsequent upgrade of buildings and heating is likely to be required. Use and resource local community organisations and networks to identify vulnerable people. Individual Energycarers juggling this work alongside delivering the service may have had an impact on its overall reach.
  • A single finance mechanism which incorporates a range of physical measures (including heating, insulation and glazing) alongside remedial works (to tackle damp,  condensation and mould) is required.
  • The individual case approach applied through HES Homecare is resource intensive; work needs to be done in order to develop a stronger area-based approach and utilise existing local networks and services more efficiently for the coordination of an area-based strategy.

The report is also published by the Scottish Government

Read more about the Energycarers