The extent and impact of energy poverty and deprivation are high on governments’ agenda. These impacts are particularly acute for low-income households, who may have less financial flexibility to afford energy and employ efficiency remedies. The homes that they reside in may also be less energy efficient for other reasons, including housing quality, split incentives and strata governance issues. While some policies and programs exist, how effectively they assist in addressing these various issues is less widely known. Given the vast numbers of potentially relevant primary sources, there is a need to identify most relevant, reliable and unbiased secondary studies on this topic using systematic or meta-analytic methodologies.
The main objective of this rapid systematic review is to synthesise knowledge from secondary literature employing systematic review and meta-analytic approaches on the mix and effectiveness of policy and program options for improving the energy efficiency of the homes in which low-income households reside. The commissioned review question fits more with the scoping/mapping review definition than with classical rapid review. However, given the methodology used to find, screen and assess the studies, the “rapid review” label is also appropriate. Rapid reviews generally use simplified systematic review methodology to accelerate the review process, while still trying to minimise the risk of bias.