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Council Housing: Heating

Volume 458: debated on Monday 26 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will estimate (a) the number of properties in local council or housing association ownership covered by district heating schemes and (b) the energy use per inhabitant in such schemes; whether it is her intention (i) to make proposals and (ii) to provide incentives to improve the energy efficiency of housing not covered by such schemes; and if she will make a statement. (122811)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 19 February 2007, Official Report, column: 300W, which provide information about the number of homes covered by district heating systems and the energy use of inhabitants.

To make their homes decent social landlords have to ensure homes have both efficient heating and effective insulation, and this is regardless of the type of heating system currently in the home. The Department's guidance “A Decent Home: Definition and guidance for implementation” encourages landlords to increase the energy efficiency of dwellings.

Research conducted by the Building Research Establishment indicated that almost all landlords engaged in energy efficiency works are taking the opportunity to work to much higher standards than the minimum required by Decent Homes.

Under the Energy Efficiency Commitment (EEC), electricity and gas suppliers are required to achieve targets for the promotion of improvements in domestic energy efficiency which includes social sector homes.