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Engaging the hardest to reach in energy advice

Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities

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Dr A Ambrose , Dr W Eadson No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Initiatives and services intended to support individuals and households with energy related problems (i.e. high bills, cold homes etc.) consistently fail to reach the most marginalised, vulnerable and low income households who stand to gain the most from such initiatives.

• To better understand and provide an evidence base in relation to the nature of hard to reach energy users in an energy advice context
• To use existing data on the reach of past and present energy advice initiatives to better understand the extent of the problem
• To work with industry stakeholders and a Citizens Panel of hard to reach energy users to understand the consequences of the failure to reach hard to reach energy users with energy advice
• To work with Citizens Advice's European STEP project (see Industrial Relevance section) and the IEA's task on Reaching the Hardest to Reach to identify and critically assess international good and bad practice in engaging marginalised consumers on a low income and in vulnerable circumstances with energy advice.
• To use an evidenced based approach to identify the most effective ways of engaging the key hard to reach groups identified and establish what works best for whom and under what circumstances
• To use co-production techniques to distil (internationally relevant) key good practice principles for policy makers and practitioners to apply
• To critique and develop the literature around citizen engagement in energy related initiatives in the context of hard to reach energy users.

Following an in-depth literature review, the student will work with existing and emerging quantitative and qualitative datasets held by the project partners to address the aims set out above. The student will contribute their knowledge to the development of the methodologies associated with CA's STEP project and the IEA task to ensure that the data collected will meet their needs as well as those of the project. The student will be encouraged to employ creative co-production techniques to identify and build consensus around key lessons emerging from the project. They will also be encouraged to assemble (with support) a 'citizens panel' of hard to reach energy users which can be used to generate additional qualitative data and as a 'reality check' for emerging findings.

Funding Notes

DTA3/COFUND participants will be employed for 36 months with a minimum salary of (approximately) £20,989 per annum. Tuition fees will waived for DTA3/COFUND participants who will also be able to access an annual DTA elective bursary to enable attendance at DTA training events and interact with colleagues across the Doctoral Training Alliance(s).
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 801604.
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