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Thermal Insulation

Volume 934: debated on Tuesday 28 June 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what assistance is available from central Government funds for the insulation of local authority dwellings; and whether he has any plans to encourage home insulation by local authorities or their tenants as a means of conserving energy.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will list the financial provisions available from his Department to local authorities wishing to insulate the lofts of their properties rented to tenants;(2) what consideration he is giving to advice for local authorities about possible financial assistance towards thermal insulation of loft spaces of properties owned or managed by local authorities;(3) if he will list any special provisions applicable to finance arrangements between his Department and local authorities for the thermal insulation of loft spaces, where (a) the council tenant is elderly or disabled and (b) the council is sponsoring a job creation insulation project to work on their properties.

Local authorities may claim housing subsidy at 66 per cent. of the anual loan charges on the cost of thermal insulation of their own dwellings where this forms part of a general improvement scheme. Subsidy may also be approved on roof insulation alone where this is provided to meet the special needs of elderly or disabled tenants.Where roof insulation is provided to local authority housing under the Job Creation Programme, for which my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Employment has responsibility, the Manpower Services Commission meet the labour costs incurred and the local authority meet the cost of the materials. Subsidy arrangements are in principle as stated above, but any subsidy payable will be based on that part of the total cost which is borne by the local authority.I believe that the position with regard to financial assistance is well understood by local authorities but will consider whether further advice is desirable.On the final part of the Question from the hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed (Mr. Beith), a number of possible further initiatives for extending and reinforcing the Government's energy conservation campaign are being evaluated.