‘Warm Home Prescription’ aims to improve housing to improve health

The Energy Systems Catapult and energy company ScottishPower are trialling a Warm Home Prescription (WHP) programme to provide warm homes that can keep people healthy and potentially avoid unnecessary hospitalisation.
The team at Catapult will work with local NHS authorities to identify low-income households where people live with health conditions that are sensitive to a cold or damp indoor environment and would benefit from warmer, healthier homes. Under the new partnership, once those homes are identified by the Catapult team, ScottishPower will arrange to supply and install appropriate improvements. This may include upgraded or new insulation in lofts, cavity walls and under floors, upgraded heating systems like air source heat pumps and even, where suitable, solar panels. All of these actions could help the household to reduce its energy consumption, make homes warmer and save on household energy bills.
The cost of the upgrades will be delivered at no cost to the householder as part of ScottishPower’s Energy Company Obligation (ECO), a UK Government scheme which sets the targets for all major energy suppliers to help improve homes across the country.
The WHP trial is a new way of targeting that government support.
Previous trials run by the Catapult delivered the Warm Home Prescription to over 1,000 homes in 2021/22 and 2022/23. Through first of its kind use of NHS data and householder feedback, emerging evidence showed a decrease in primary care usage.
By working with an energy supplier for the first time, the Catapult aims to scale the trial further and deliver measures for 1,000 households in partnership with ScottishPower, with an ambition of supporting up to 2,000 households.
Rebecca Sweeney, Business Leader – Homes, at Energy Systems Catapult said: “The first-of-its-kind partnership with ScottishPower is a step change in how we target support. We know that Warm Home Prescription delivers beneficial results for low income and vulnerable consumers, so to be working with a national energy supplier in rolling this support out will pay dividends.
“This coordinated delivery alongside a national energy supplier has the potential to reshape how we deliver Warm Home Prescription across the UK. We don’t want to stop here. If there are others – be they energy suppliers or energy organisations – we want to hear from you to help eradicate cold homes across the country.”
Mark Murphy, Head of UK Government Obligations at Scottish Power said: “For those dealing with illnesses that are made worse by living in a cold home, these upgrades could be life changing.”

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