Fuel poverty, i.e. people not being able to afford to heat their homes or use domestic appliances due to high energy bills, is a persistent problem in the UK. It literally kills people every winter and has wide reaching implications on health and wellbeing. Despite various government programmes addressing fuel poverty over the years, the problem has not gone away. In the light of this, new actors have emerged to address the issue. Community groups have for example run initiatives such as ‘Energy Cafés’ – typically staffed by volunteers who provide advice about energy bills and energy efficiency measures. This seminar presents work funded by Chesshire Lehmann Fund and completed with South East London Community Energy (SELCE) on community-led Energy Cafés.
Dr Mari Martiskainen is a Research Fellow at the Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand (CIED), SPRU, University of Sussex, UK. Mari is a social scientist with a specific interest in sustainability transitions, especially in relation to a transition to a low carbon energy system. Mari’s research has included topics such as energy efficiency policies in buildings; innovation and engagement in community energy; social innovation in addressing fuel poverty; and the diffusion of microgeneration technologies. Her current research focuses on the role of intermediary organisations in low energy housing innovation. Mari has worked with a range of stakeholders and partners, including not-for-profit organisations, businesses and consultants. She has experience from various communication channels, including conference presentations, social media, seminars and media interviews. You can also follow Mari on Twitter: @martiskainen.