A Comparison of The Health Impacts of Individual Level and Area Based Welsh Government Fuel Poverty Schemes

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Sian Morrison-Rees
Sarah Lowe


Living in a cold and/or damp house is known to increase the risk of morbidity, mortality and excess winter deaths. To reduce fuel poverty in Wales, the Welsh Government developed schemes to provide energy efficiency improvements to those most likely affected by fuel poverty.

We explored the relative impacts on health of an individual-level scheme, Warm Homes Nest, and an area-based scheme, Arbed.

Objectives and Approach
Overall aim: to evaluate the health impacts of Welsh Government funded schemes designed to reduce fuel poverty. Presented objective: to investigate the relative impact of the individual-level and area-based schemes on the health of recipients. A longitudinal dataset was created using the anonymised residence that received improvements linked to residents’ health measures using routine health records held in the SAIL Databank at Swansea University.

We used difference-in-difference (DID) estimations to compare any changes in recipient health before and after intervention with any concurrent change in health in those yet to receive the intervention.

An analysis of the Warm Homes Nest Scheme, published in 2017 and presented at the IPDLN 2018 conference found a positive impact of the scheme on the health of recipients.

This presentation will describe the further analysis comparing the area-based Arbed scheme with both the recipients of the individual-level Nest scheme and groups in comparable need that had not yet received the intervention. We will present results focussing on the relative impacts of the two schemes on respiratory health, infection prescribing and mental health.

Conclusion / Implications
Providing home energy efficiency interventions has the potential to benefit population health, however there is a scarcity of evidence comparing different methods of implementing schemes. Our findings will inform more effectively focussed home energy efficiency schemes and potentially thus improve the health and wellbeing of people living in Wales.

Article Details

How to Cite
Morrison-Rees, S. and Lowe, S. (2020) “A Comparison of The Health Impacts of Individual Level and Area Based Welsh Government Fuel Poverty Schemes”, International Journal of Population Data Science, 5(5). doi: 10.23889/ijpds.v5i5.1628.

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