[holding answer 16 December 2008]: From 1 October to 30 November the Warm Front scheme has spent approximately £20 million of the extra £50 million added to this financial year's budget. This has assisted more than 16,000 households by delivering energy efficiency advice together with a range of heating and insulation measures.
The Government will consult in the new year on proposed legislation regarding the increased carbon emission reduction target and new Community Energy Saving Programme obligations. In anticipation of this, energy suppliers have increased their insulation programmes for this winter. In fact, as part of their obligation to improve household energy efficiency, early in the autumn, energy companies estimated that they would insulate twice as many cavity walls and 50 per cent. more lofts than last winter.
Also as part of the 11 September package, the cold weather payments were increased from £8.50 to £25 a week. Over 500,000 payments have been made this winter.
Thousands of extra people have benefited from energy saving advice from the Act on CO2 helpline since the 11 September announcement. Run by the EST, it took 89,000 calls in September (against 27,000 in September 2007), 92,000 in October (against 33,000 in 2007) and 62,000 in November (against 37,000 in 2007).