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Fuel Poverty

Volume 454: debated on Tuesday 5 December 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps his Department is taking to tackle fuel poverty in Northern Ireland; what recent assessment he has made of the level of fuel poverty in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement. (107628)

The Fuel Poverty Strategy which was launched in 2004 set out the Government’s plans to eradicate fuel poverty in all vulnerable and social households by 2010 and in all other households by 2016. Since then over £150 million has been spent on a range of programmes to address energy inefficiency in homes and increase benefit awareness, particularly of vulnerable people who rely on benefits. The 2004 Interim House Condition Survey, which was announced earlier this year, indicated that since the last House Condition Survey in 2001 the number of fuel poor households has reduced from 203,000 to 153,500.

I have placed a copy of the latest annual progress report published in July 2006 in the Library of the House.