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Fuel Poverty

Volume 481: debated on Monday 20 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the effects of turbulence in financial markets on the willingness of banks to provide loans to fuel-poor householders to improve their home energy efficiency rating. (226251)

I have been asked to reply.

Low income and vulnerable households are able to access discounted or free energy saving and heating measures as a result of Government policies. These include the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target regulations on energy suppliers (as a result of which free cavity wall and loft insulation are available to households in receipt of certain benefits and tax credits and those over 70), and publicly funded schemes such as the Warm Front scheme in England and the Home Energy Efficiency Scheme in Wales. The Government's Home Energy Saving Programme announced on 11 September set out a £1 billion package of new activity to help all households save energy and save money.

As stated at Budget 2007, based on consultation with major banks and building societies, the Government anticipates that the measures it has put in place and improved energy advice and information have the potential to create a market for “green” financial products designed to help householders invest in energy efficiency and microgeneration installations.