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Warm Front Scheme

Volume 485: debated on Thursday 18 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many applications for Warm Front grants are under consideration. (242472)

The current number of applications outstanding is 106,179. Each of these applications will be at very different stages and will be eligible for a range of measures. Some customers will be awaiting survey, others will be awaiting work to be installed and others will have an outstanding contribution to make to the cost of the work.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many people with Warm Front grant applications under consideration are without heating. (242473)

It is not possible to quantify the exact number of applicants who are currently without heating. Some households will have a heating system with an intermittent fault, others may have intermediate forms of secondary heating and others may be waiting for a heating measure to replace an unreliable and inefficient system. It is not therefore possible to quantify at any exact moment how many households with an outstanding application are without heating.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assistance is available to individuals who apply for a Warm Front grant where the cost of the work exceeds the original quotation. (242474)

Where an excess payment is required, Warm Front will always be willing to provide clients with advice about sourcing funding from external organisations to help them meet their contribution. Eaga plc, the present Scheme Manager, has well established relationships with such organisations throughout the country and can offer advice and assistance when it is requested.

DECC is aware that some customers have difficulties making a financial contribution. We are currently assessing ways in which we can help customers to make full use of the scheme. Part of this analysis will include considering whether the grants are set at the most suitable levels.

Funding to Warm Front was increased in the pre-Budget report by £100 million, with another £50 million in spending bought forward. We want to make sure as many households as possible get the help they need.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many individuals have made an additional contribution to the cost of installing heating under the Warm Front scheme; and what the average amount of such a contribution has been. (242475)

The information requested is as follows:

Number/£

Total number of customers who have made an additional contribution

130,799

Average customer contribution

487.28

These figures are from 1 June 2005 until end of October 2008.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the average waiting period for emergency work to be conducted by Warm Front was on the latest date for which information is available. (242476)

Warm Front is not designed to act as an emergency service and the Scheme Manager's target timescales reflect the overarching need to make the best use of the money available. At present the Scheme Manager has a target to complete all heating work within 120 working days of survey. In practice, the average waiting time is less than 65 days for the installation of a heating measure following the initial survey.

However, the Department does recognise that some applicants are in need of urgent assistance and we are currently looking at ways of reducing these timescales for the most vulnerable clients. Any decisions will be announced in due course.

Following the installation of a Warm Front system, the scheme provides a 24-hour emergency breakdown service in case issues arise, which has a target response time of 48 hours.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what proportion of the Warm Front budget for 2008-09 he expects to have been spent by the end of the fiscal year; and what plans he has for making use of any underspend. (242499)

The Warm Front budget for 2008-09 is approximately £395 million. We expect to spend the full budget to ensure we deliver the maximum number of heating, insulation and energy efficiency measures to vulnerable households.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change with reference to the answer of 24 November 2008, Official Report, column 1149W, on the Home Energy Efficiency Scheme, if he will place in the Library a copy of the pricing framework agreed with Eaga. (242564)

The pricing framework agreed with Eaga plc is commercially sensitive so it will not be placed in the Library of the House.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much contractors participating in the Warm Front Scheme were charged for the administration costs of the scheme in the last 12 months. (243415)

Contractors appointed to work under the Warm Front grant scheme are not charged for administration costs.