Tackling the challenges low-carbon living
CRESR

Sustainability

Our work on sustainability is wide-ranging. We seek to understand the dynamics of responses to climate change, and routinely collaborate with industry-leading consultants and leading academics to address the complex needs of our client organisations.

We conduct research around the following themes.

Housing and the home

We have conducted leading UK studies into fuel poverty and the response of government bodies to this issue. Our work has included evaluations of the Warm Front Scheme and Decent Homes programmes.

We bring together technical expertise – working with our partners in the Materials and Engineering Research Institute – to address fuel poverty with a detailed understanding of behavioural responses to housing improvements. We are currently exploring the experiences of residents living in eco-homes.

Place

Our research shows the importance of place-based approaches to sustainability, and helps organisations to evaluate their practical responses.

Our work includes studies on district heat networks, neighbourhood level housing improvements and the mainstreaming of sustainability in economic development programmes.

Coordinating responses to climate change

We have shown the challenges faced by local, regional and national organisations in coordinating responses to climate change.

Our work includes studies into the use of sustainability as cross-cutting themes in EU programmes, through to the role of environmental partnerships at local and regional levels.

Valuation of environmental benefits

We have undertaken research for organisations such as DEFRA and Groundwork into the valuation of environmental benefits and the economic benefits from environmental improvements.

Search our work


Industrial Strategy and the Regions

Project Director: Professor Peter Wells
Project Duration: 2017-2018

This project builds on prior work by CRESR into the government’s industrial strategy. CRESR has been commissioned to build on this work and develop proposals for the Labour Party. The research is covering three main areas: the instruments or industrial strategy and regional policy; the institutions required to deliver the policy; and a series of datasets on sub-national indicators.


Reaching the hardest to reach and highly vulnerable in energy advice and support

Project Director: Aimee Ambrose
Project Duration: 2016-2018

This project will be led by SHU in partnership with Citizens Advice and working with Eon and British Gas as the lead industry partners. It will directly involve (via a Steering Group) 25 representatives from the advice, energy, policy and academic sectors who have never previously been brought together under one initiative. It will also directly engage 40 citizens and potential beneficiaries of the project via two Citizens' Panels.

The UK government is currently carrying out a major overhaul of fuel poverty and energy efficiency policy which is having a profound impact on the advice and energy sectors. Both sectors are expected to be at the forefront of efforts to address fuel poverty and to work together- something they have never done before.

From 2018 onwards, energy companies will be obliged to deliver energy efficiency measures to fuel poor households exclusively. However, the sector has limited experience of identifying, reaching and engaging those most in need of these interventions. There is very little existing knowledge or good practice for either sector to draw on in preparing for the challenges ahead (Ambrose et al, 2016). Acquiring new knowledge on how to successfully engage society's most vulnerable households in energy initiatives will be vital if both sectors are to work together to exploit forthcoming opportunities to engage face to face with every vulnerable and hard to reach household through the smart meter roll-out programme.

The generation of new knowledge, an agreed set of good practice principles and policy recommendations through this project will support the advice and energy sectors and policy makers to meet the challenges ahead. The project will involve an evidence review and primary research with stakeholders and citizens that will yield new insights into what works best for whom and under what circumstances with respect to engaging the most vulnerable and hard to reach.


An assessment of the United Utilities Customer Research on Manchester and Pennines Resilience

Project Directors:Jan Gilbertson and Professor Christina Beatty
Project Duration: 2017-2018

An independent assessment of United Utilities programme of research to explore customer attitudes towards action being taken to improve the resilience of the Haweswater Aqueduct.  


ESRC Seminar Series: The health impact of cold homes and fuel poverty

Principal Applicant: Professor Angela Tod / Co-applicants: Jan Gilbertson, Professor Christine Liddell, Catherine Homer

Project Duration: 2015-2018

This seminar series will generate new understanding of human behaviour regarding cold homes, fuel poverty and their impact on health by reviewing current evidence, identifying evidence gaps and priorities for future research. The series will explicitly consider the influence of social and health inequalities, and focus on policy influences, impact and interventions. It will add to existing academic knowledge by reviewing and synthesising existing evidence, and will identify gaps in knowledge.


Energy poverty and social relations: understanding vulnerability through secondary qualitative analysis

Project Director: Dr Lucie Middlemass (University of Leeds)
Project Duration: 2017-2018

This project draws on a large body of existing (under-utilised) qualitative data to investigate the impact of households’ social relations on vulnerability to energy poverty. The project team’s collective expertise in energy poverty, vulnerability and secondary data analysis will allow us to investigate the emerging link between social relations (friend and family relationships, and interactions with service providers) and households’ capacity to withstand energy poverty. Outputs will include a preliminary conceptual framework to explain how vulnerability to energy poverty is affected by social relations, and an analytical approach to secondary qualitative data on this topic. It is anticipated that outputs from the project will form the basis for future bid applications.


Staff undertaking research include

Aimee Ambrose Jan Gilbertson Dr Will Eadson Dr Tony Gore

Get in touch

For further information please contact Aimee Ambrose at a.ambrose@shu.ac.uk or call 0114 225 6297.

Key clients

Amber Valley Borough Council
Birmingham City Council
Business and trade associations
Community Energy England
Consumer Council for Water
Consumer Council for Water
DEFRA
Department for Communities and Local Government
Department for Work and Pensions
Derby City Council
Derbyshire County Council
Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council
Durham County Council
Eaga Charitable Trust
East Riding of Yorkshire Council
Furness Enterprise Ltd
Government Office for Science (BIS)
Groundwork UK
Humber and Wolds Rural Community Council
Joseph Rowntree Foundation
Labour Party
Lambeth Council
Leicester and Leicestershire Local Enterprise Partnership
Local authorities
Local enterprise partnerships
Royal College of General Practitioners
Small Business Service
Tesco
The Higher Education Innovation Fund
United Utilities
Welsh Assembly Government
White Rose Collaboration Fund project
Wigan Council
Wigan Council
Zero Carbon Yorkshire
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