Rural Review of Sustainable Warmth - Protecting vulnerable households

The Rural Services Network has been considering key government documents and publications ‘Through a Rural Lens’ to see how rural communities and their services are considered.

In the latest of our ‘Through a Rural Lens’ analyses, we have reviewed the ‘Sustainable Warmth: Protecting Vulnerable Households In England’, Policy Paper (BEIS).

This policy paper was published on 11 Feb 2021 and ‘Rural’ is briefly mentioned just 3 times in the document in the following contexts:

  • Defra’s responsibilities include air quality and rural issues
  • Around 500,000 fuel poor households live in rural areas
  • The Rural Community Energy Fund

You can download our rural lens review document here

Whilst the paper does provide some clarity about who policies are intended to help, there does not appear to be any attempt to assess the effectiveness of current measures to address fuel poverty in rural areas nor to consider any possible rural: urban differences in the implementation or effectiveness of future policy measures. Possibly this is due to the strategic level of the paper. However, this lack of detail poses  questions about whether the proposed measures might disadvantage fuel poor families in rural areas who may be harder, or more expensive, to reach and whether there will be appropriately thorough rural proofing and monitoring of individual future policy measures to address fuel poverty.

RSN will be closely monitoring any detailed policy changes as and when they are published and will make representations where appropriate.

Click to view the full ‘Through a Rural Lens’ Document here.


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