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Fuel Poverty

Volume 464: debated on Monday 15 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform pursuant to the answer of 12 September 2007, Official Report, column 2068W, on fuel poverty, what definition his Department uses of a proportional programme of assistance; what methodology is used by his Department to measure proportionality; and which of the major six energy companies offer a proportional programme of assistance. (156822)

[holding answer 10 October 2007]: A range of factors are being taken into account in considering the corporate social responsibility assistance provided by each energy supplier to help vulnerable consumers, drawing on the evidence in Ofgem's review of supplier's voluntary initiatives to help vulnerable customers. Major factors include the level of assistance delivered to vulnerable customers relative to the size of the supplier and the overall price level offered by the supplier. A supplier is said to be offering a proportionate programme of assistance if it is offering a level of assistance under these measures around or above the industry average at the time of publication of the White Paper. We are currently analysing the findings of the Ofgem update report on "Ofgem's review of Suppliers' voluntary initiatives to help vulnerable customers" published on 8 October to determine which of the major six energy companies offer a proportional programme of assistance.