Research reports

Research reports

    Holding feet to the fire:  Peabody tenants confront unaccountable heating and housing management – April 2021

    A home is not affordable if you can't afford to heat it

    In our second major study of crises with district heating, FPA has prepared a Dossier which brings out in the open the sense of impunity, the buck-passing, and the dazzling incompetence that have made “home” a place of nightmares for tenants of a social landlord. It details tenants’ battle for affordable heat and accountability and how they managed to win a reduction of their tariff by one half. It also explores the complexities of district heating  pricing and the position of social housing tenants on a private, mostly leaseholder, estate.

    The dossier has been prepared by Fuel Poverty Action, in close consultation with tenants of Peabody housing association, on Phoenix Works development, Tower Hamlets.

    With district heating (“heat networks”) and housing developments like this one becoming more and more common, the new Dossier serves as a warning, a guide to needed changes, and a handbook for action for the growing number of residents affected by unaccountable heating and housing systems.

    The dossier includes excerpts from emails in which tenants and managers each put their case in their own words.

    The first section gives an overview of the issues and the ongoing battle, and how these relate to the legislation of heat networks expected in 2022.

    You can read the full report below – to view in full screen you might find it easier to download the PDF by clicking here here.

    Peabody tenants confront unaccountable heating and housing management

    ‘Not Fit for Purpose’ – District Heating in Myatts Field – April 2017

    Residents’ Experiences of E.ON’s District Heating System on the Myatts Field North Estate and Oval Quarter development in Lambeth

    While district heating has great potential to cut costs and carbon emissions, for council tenants and private leaseholders on the Myatts Field North estate and Oval Quarter development in Lambeth, it has so far been a very bad experience for many from which there is currently no escape.
    “Not Fit for Purpose” details 50 real-life examples of residents, many vulnerable through age, disability, illness, or financial insecurity, who have experienced a number of failings.
    These residents were connected to a new heat network run by E.ON without proper consultation as part of a controversial regeneration scheme under the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) starting from 2012. Lambeth’s district heating contract with E.ON is binding until 2052.
    The report on the scheme, published here by Fuel Poverty Action, was compiled with additional research by Dr Stuart Hodkinson, School of Geography, University of Leeds, and Ruth London, Fuel Poverty Action on behalf of Myatts Field North Residents Association and PFI Monitoring Board, Oval Quarter Residents Association, and Oval Quarter Notting Hill Residents Association.

    Now residents are challenging E.ON to overhaul the whole system, accept a review of its pricing and provide proper compensation for four years of misery.

    Listen to us here discussing the findings on Radio 5 Investigates.

    Read our initial press release here and download the report below:

    ‘Not Fit for Purpose’ – Executive Summary

    ‘Not Fit for Purpose’ – Full Report

    Fuel Poverty Action briefing: Cladding – A national emergency – 5 March 2018

    This research documents the process by which regulation which could have prevented the Grenfell fire was systematically blocked in Parliament and government, despite many pleas from fire authorities and others.  It includes documentation of lobbying on behalf of manufacturers of flammable materials, and a timeline showing the involvement of successive governments of all hues..

    See below for our report on the state of cladding and insulation in the UK. You can also download the PDF file here. We’ve also published other resources on cladding from around the web on our resources page.

    Fuel Poverty Action briefing: Cladding - A national emergency