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Energy Efficiency

Volume 401: debated on Tuesday 18 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what targets are being set for energy efficiency and renewable energy; and if she will make a statement. [102506]

In January 2000 the Government announced their aim for renewables to supply 10 per cent. of UK electricity in 2010, subject to the costs being acceptable to the consumer. We believe that renewable sources of energy will increasingly demonstrate that they can meet our energy needs at both an economically acceptable cost and in a carbon free way. On that basis, our aspiration is by 2020 to double renewables' share of electricity from our 2010 target and we will pursue policies to achieve this.More than half the emissions reductions in our Climate Change Programme—around 10 million tones of carbon per annum—is expected to come from energy efficiency. Further ahead, we believe that energy efficiency can contribute around half of the additional 15–25 million tonnes of annual carbon savings we are likely to need by 2020. A strategy for achieving these savings is set out in the Energy White Paper.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many area based sustainable energy projects and partnerships incorporating a Home Health Programme there are; where they are located; what areas they cover; and what their annual budgets are. [103169]

Despite a detailed search, my officials can find no record of a Home Health Programme. Turning to sustainable energy projects in general, the majority operate on a national basis, providing assistance to households and communities across the country.To encourage sustainable energy projects:

We are spending £50 million over two years on the UK wide Community Energy programme which promotes community heating. So far £8.5million of grants have been approved. Two of these grants have been for innovative energy from waste schemes.
The Energy Crops Scheme has allocated £650,000 of grants to promote the establishment of energy crops in England.
We fund the Countryside Agency's Community Renewables Initiative, which promotes the establishment of local renewable energy schemes in England.
The DTI fund both the UK wide Bio Energy Capital Grants Scheme and the UK wide £10 million Clear Skies initiative. Both are relatively new initiatives. The Bio Energy Capital Grants scheme aims to ensure the development of 100MW biomass heating provision at all scales, while Clear Skies provides advice and support for the installation of household and renewable community renewable schemes.

To encourage domestic energy savings and health initiatives:

We fund the Warm Front grant scheme which assisted over 500,000 households living in Fuel Poverty by installing energy efficiency measures. This indicates that the Government are making good progress toward meeting its target of assisting 600,000 homes by 2004.
The Government have established the Energy Efficiency Commitment. The Commitment requires electricity and gas suppliers to achieve targets for the promotion of improvements in energy efficiency, with an emphasis on helping lower income customers. The overall target on all suppliers is a combined saving of 62 fuel-standardised terawatt hours.
Defra and DTI are funding a pilot Warm Zones initiative in five areas in England. The zones attempt to identify all fuel poor households in an area, and ensure that existing schemes are used to improve the energy efficiency of those homes. The pilot is being evaluated at present and an interim report is expected shortly.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when boiler repairs and replacements were incorporated into measures funded by Warm Front for non-pensioner households; what amendments to the scheme regulations were needed to authorise these measures; what provision there is for service and maintenance of the boilers; and if central heating systems can be funded or part funded through the Warm Front scheme for non—pensioner households. [100162]

[holding answer 5 March 2003]: Following a public consultation, the New Home Energy Efficiency Scheme was launched in June 2000. The scheme, now marketed as Warm Front, introduced heating measures, boiler repairs and replacements. Only those over 60 on a qualifying benefit are eligible for central heating system installations, under Warm Front Plus.As a result, the grant maximum increased from £315 to £1,000 in 2000 and to £1,500 in 2001 for under 60s households. The grant maximum for over 60s households is £2,500. Revised regulations were issued to enable these amendments.All installations under Warm Front are guaranteed for a year by Eaga Partnership and TXU Warm Front Ltd. who manage the scheme. All materials used are guaranteed by the manufacturer for a year, with the exception of storage heaters which are guaranteed for two years.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if (a) Ministers and (b) officials in her Department have discussed with TXU Warm Front the use of promotional literature for the Warm Front scheme as a means of selling other goods and services. [100163]

[holding answer 5 March 2003]: The Government's main programme for tackling fuel poverty in the private sector in England is the Home Energy Efficiency Scheme (HEES), now marketed as `The Warm Front Team'. Warm Front provides insulation and heating measures depending upon the needs of the householder and the property type to eligible households.TXU Warm Front Ltd. is one of the two scheme managers appointed to administer the scheme.The literature used b TXU outlines measures offered by Warm Front and is not used as a vehicle for selling an other goods or services.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of the total expenditure on warm front grants made in England and Wales in the financial years ending 2001 and 2002 were represented by (a) loft and (b) cavity wall insulation measures. [90811]

Expenditure requested as a percentage of total grant expenditure for the warm front scheme in England was as follows:

Cavity wall insulation2922
Loft insulation1615
The drop in the proportion of expenditure on cavity wall insulation in the second year of the scheme reflects increased activity in the installation of heating measures, which have a higher average cost per household.The New Home Energy Efficiency Scheme in Wales is a matter for the National Assembly for Wales.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what was the average administrative cost associated with each household that benefited under the warm front scheme, as a percentage of the cost of the measures installed in 2001–02. [90808]

In 2001–02, approximately 23 per cent. of total expenditure on the scheme related to administration costs, covering surveying, inspections, marketing, energy efficiency advice, installer management and customer support services including the Scheme Managers' call centres.