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Home Energy Efficiency Scheme: Essex

Volume 486: debated on Monday 12 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when he expects works under the (a) Warm Front and (b) over seventies scheme in Essex to restart; and if he will make a statement. (243813)

Warm Front is an ongoing process. We are aware that the Scheme Manager eaga plc, did, with the Department's knowledge, stop allocating work for a five day period between 3 and 9 November while a new computer upgrade was being implemented. This is now fully operational and work is being allocated an usual.

The over seventies scheme in Essex is almost certainly part of the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT), which commenced in April and operates throughout Great Britain. CERT places an obligation on energy suppliers to meet targets through encouraging households to take up energy efficiency measures. It is at suppliers' discretion how they meet their targets, but they will typically use subsidised offers to promote key measures such as loft and cavity wall insulation, and high-efficiency lights and appliances.

Suppliers must focus 40 per cent. of their activity on a priority group of vulnerable and low-income households, which includes those over 70. All six major household energy suppliers currently offer priority group households free loft insulation (where less than 60mm already exists) and free cavity wall insulation, subject to a survey of the property.