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Low Carbon Buildings

Volume 453: debated on Tuesday 28 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the household stream of the Low Carbon Buildings Programme will meet household demand for renewable energy grants in 2007-08 and 2008-09. (100481)

We announced on 25 October 2006 that we would be reallocating £6.2 million of the total £28.5 million funding to the household stream. This will give a total pot of £12.7 million, which on projected demand levels should allow householder funding to continue until June 2008. By this time, some of our wider measures to promote microgeneration should be taking hold, and we believe the sector may have matured to a point where householder grants are no longer necessary.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps he is taking to ensure the continuation of Low Carbon Buildings Programme grant funding for domestic solar hot water installations; and if he will make a statement. (100482)

By 20 November 2006, we had committed £0.5 million to 1,747 household applications for solar thermal hot water installations, of which £0.2 million has been paid to 477 grant claimants.

We are currently in discussions with key stakeholders about reducing grant levels for all technologies, including solar thermal hot water.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what calculation his Department has made of the total spending needed to ensure that household demand for capital grants under the Low Carbon Buildings Programme is met in full. (100483)

Under the Low Carbon Buildings Programme, we allocated £6.5 million to the household stream at scheme launch in April 2006. On 25 October 2006, we announced that a further £6.2 million of the total £28.5 million funding would be reallocated to the household stream, giving a total budget of £12.7 million going forward.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the likely demand for grants from the household stream of the Low Carbon Buildings Programme for building-attached micro wind turbines. (100484)

Since the launch of the Low Carbon Buildings Programme phase one on 1 April 2006, we have committed £0.4 million to 911 household applications for building integrated wind turbine installations. This is from a total allocation of £1.2 million towards 1,104 wind turbine projects under the household stream.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what analysis he has made of the level of grant uptake by households during the final year of the Clearskies and Solar PV major demonstration programmes; and what the main conclusions of the analysis were. (100485)

Under the Clearskies programme, we committed £1.6 million to 2,116 household applicants in the final year of the programme. Of this amount, £1.4 million has been paid to 2,019 grant claimants.

Under the Solar PV major demonstration programme, we committed £4.4 million to 683 household applicants in the final year of the programme. Of this amount, £2.3 million has been paid to 386 grant claimants.

We will be considering an evaluation when the schemes close in 2007.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what advice he has sought from (a) trade associations and (b) other industry bodies on the likely demand for household grants in year one of the Low Carbon Buildings Programme. (100486)

Key industry stakeholders and other industry bodies were fully consulted on the design of the Low Carbon Buildings Programme and funding allocations.

More recently, officials met with industry representatives and other key stakeholders, informing them of our plans to introduce monthly allocations to the household stream of the low carbon buildings programme. Discussions are ongoing regarding the reduction of grant levels to the different technologies.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he expects household grants to end under the low carbon buildings programme. (101046)

We announced on 25 October 2006 that we would be re-allocating £6.2 million of the Low Carbon Buildings Programme Phase 1 budget to the household stream, giving a total pot of £12.7 million. It is expected that this along with the introduction of monthly allocations and a reduction in grant levels for individual technologies will allow us to process applications until June 2008. By this time some of our wider measures to promote microgeneration should be taking hold, and we believe the sector may have matured to a point where householder grants are no longer necessary.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what additional funding would be required to enable the household stream of the low carbon buildings programme to continue to 2009. (101047)

We have a budget of £12.7 million available for the household stream of the Low Carbon Buildings Programme. It is expected that this along with the introduction of monthly allocations and a reduction in grant levels for individual technologies will allow us to process applications until June 2008.

By this time, some of our wider measures to promote microgeneration should be taking hold, and we believe the sector may have matured to a point where householder grants are no longer necessary.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the likely household demand for grants in 2005-06 under the low carbon buildings programme. (101048)

When the Low Carbon Buildings Programme was launched in April 2006, £3.5 million was set aside for the household stream in 2005-06. In order to meet the higher than anticipated demand, a further £6.2 million of the total £28.5 million funding was reallocated to the household stream on 25 October 2006, and we continue to process grant applications for householders.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps have been taken to encourage households to install (a) solar panels, (b) wind turbines and (c) microgeneration units; and if he will make a statement. (101944)

We launched the Low Carbon Buildings Programme on 1 April 2006, with £6.5 million out of the total £28.5 million funding having been made available to the household stream over three years, covering a range of microgeneration technologies including solar panels and micro wind turbines.

Taking into account the higher than anticipated demand, we increased the level of funding for household installations by £6.2 million to £12.7 million on 25 October 2006. This should ensure we are able to fund the household stream until June 2008.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many (a) households and (b) households in the Wansbeck constituency have received grants from the Low Carbon Buildings Programme. (101953)

By 20 November 2006, 3,556 householders had successfully applied for grants under the Low Carbon Buildings Programme household stream. Of this figure, two applicants from the Wansbeck constituency have been awarded household grants.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps his Department is taking to ensure that all renewable energy technologies are supported through the household stream of the Low Carbon Buildings programme. (101118)

[holding answer 22 November 2006]: The Low Carbon Buildings programme supports a range of microgeneration technologies through the household stream. Officials met with industry representatives and other key stakeholders on 31 October 2006 to discuss the implications of reducing grant levels for different technologies. Thesediscussions are ongoing.