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Low Carbon Buildings Programme

Volume 461: debated on Monday 4 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on what date the domestic stream of the Low Carbon Buildings Programme will end. (138079)

[holding answer 21 May 2007]: The Low Carbon Buildings Programme was launched in April 2006 with a £30 million budget. In the Budget 07, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor announced that a further £6 million would be made available to the household stream of the programme, taking the total available including management fees to £18.7 million.

Since the Budget announcement, we took the decision to suspend the scheme as this provided an opportunity to consult key stakeholders on a re-structured scheme that better met the needs of industry and applicants alike. We have implemented changes that include the removal of the monthly cap. With the increased flexibility that removing the monthly cap provides, we cannot predict demand with certainty. We hope these changes will allow us to reach a wider audience. We will continue to monitor and report on grant commitments and payments. However, once the funds are allocated, this form of grant support will cease.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry for what reasons further support for the domestic stream of the Low Carbon Buildings Programme is not being offered; and if he will make a statement. (138080)

[holding answer 21 May 2007]: In the Budget 07, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor announced that a further £6 million would be made available to the household stream of the Low Carbon Buildings Programme, taking the total available including management fees to £18.7 million.

We re-launched the household stream on 29 May 2007, having made a number of changes to the programme. We believe these changes will allow us to reach a wider audience, and demonstrate the potential of micro generation to a greater number of households. We will continue to monitor and report on grant commitments and payments. However, once the funds are fully allocated, this form of grant support will cease.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the reasons were for each of the reductions in domestic grant support for solar photovoltaics under the Low Carbon Buildings Programme; and if he will make a statement. (138081)

[holding answer 21 May 2007]: When we launched the Low Carbon Buildings Programme in April 2006, we always intended to review grant levels at the end of the first year. After discussions with industry, we took the decision to reduce the grant level for solar photovoltaics from a maximum of £3,000 per kWp to a maximum of £2,000 per kWp installed. This measure, along with the introduction of a £2,500 cap per household will allow us to use the limited funds available to support an increased number of microgeneration installations, which is a fundamental aim of a demonstration programme such as this.