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Cold Realities Community-Led Photographic Exhibition

We joined Plymouth residents and fellow social enterprise, Fotonow to reveal what it really means to be fuel poor.

It is easy to ignore statistics.

When we read about fuel poverty and 'thermally inefficient dwellings' we risk losing sight of the people living in those cold, damp homes and the terrible impact it has on their physical and mental wellbeing.

Cold Realities Council Building
PEC 15 11 17 45 Fotonow

What We Did

  • We commissioned a graduate photographer, Edyta Linnane, from Fotonow to go out with the Energy Team on home visits and get to know the residents we work alongside.
  • Over a few weeks, we asked residents to talk to us and show us what it means to them to be in fuel poverty.
  • The resulting images tell the story of 4 households living in fuel poverty.
  • We launched the exhibition at our 2017 Taking the Power Back event.
  • Images are displayed on 8 foot banners

The Impact

The impact of these images and their ability to raise awareness has been significant. We are focusing policy-makers' attention on the personal cost of fuel poverty. It’s miserable, it’s cold, it’s life affecting. It’s poverty of hope. It’s making impossible choices like heating or eating. It’s unjust and it’s unnecessary. We need fuel poverty strategies that:

  • Put people first
  • Trust in community organisations
  • Seek simplicity.

Since unveiling the exhibition, the images have been shown at:

  • National Energy Action's House of Commons reception for Members of UK Parliament
  • Scottish Parliament for talks on fuel poverty
  • Plymouth City Council's full council meeting
  • Inside Government's 'Tackling & Alleviating Fuel Poverty' conference
  • National Energy Action's 2018 annual conference on fuel poverty - to a collection of over 300 energy suppliers, policy-makers and charity workers
  • European conferences hosted by partner organisations
  • Over 20 events and conferences

Cold Realities

  • Armchair
  • Assisted walker
  • Black mould ceiling
  • Cold Realities Council Building
  • Cold Realities Sandals
  • Damp walls
  • Family on bare stairs
  • Feeling hopelessness
  • Hand at window sml
  • IMG 1916
  • Looking at bills
  • Mould
  • Mouldy corner
  • Parliament November 2018 Clare
  • PEC 15 11 17 45 Fotonow
  • PEC 17
  • PEC 18
  • PEC 24
  • PEC 50
  • PEC 58
  • Playing on the floor
  • Portrait
  • Pots and pans
  • Sitting on the floor