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Warm Front Scheme

Volume 481: debated on Monday 20 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps he (a) is taking and (b) plans to take to publicise the (i) Warm Front Scheme and (ii) Warm Deal Scheme; how much was spent by his Department and predecessor departments to publicise each scheme since its inception; and if he will make a statement. (227588)

As fuel poverty is now a devolved issue, this answer refers specifically to Warm Front. The Warm Deal Scheme falls within the remit of the Scottish Government.

Warm Front advertising and promotion is not an expense drawn from the Warm Front budget. It is a contractual requirement placed on Eaga, as the main contractor, to generate sufficient interest in the scheme to fulfil the budget.

(a) In promoting the Scheme, Eaga undertakes several streams of activity targeted at reaching those eligible or potentially eligible for assistance. Activities include attendance at local community events, partnerships with both the Department of Health and the Department of Work and Pensions, affinity arrangements with local voluntary and charitable groups and direct mailing activities with local authorities.

(b) Eaga will continue to publicise Warm Front so that it is visible and available to those in need, and will ensure that the scheme assists as many households as possible by fully utilising its budget.

The Government’s Act on CO2 helpline (0800 512012) directs people to advice from the Energy Savings Trust which can include information about Warm Front.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what research he has recently (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the effectiveness of the (i) Warm Front Scheme and (ii) Warm Deal Scheme in reducing fuel poverty; and if he will make a statement. (227589)

As fuel poverty is now a devolved issue, this response refers only to Warm Front. The Warm Deal Scheme falls within the remit of the Scottish Government.

DECC’s independent quality assessors, White Young and Green, carry out bi-annual audits of the scheme as well as further ad hoc reports on various subjects requested by the Department.

Further to this, the National Audit Office is performing a value for money audit of the scheme which they anticipate publishing in December of this year.