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Warm Front Scheme

Volume 486: debated on Monday 12 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will estimate the number of additional households that could be raised out of fuel poverty for each £1 million increase in the planned budget of the Warm Front scheme in the financial years (i) 2009-10 and (ii) 2010-11. (242514)

Based on the existing specification, the Government expect Warm Front to assist between 25,000-30,000 households for every £1 million spent in each of the aforementioned years.

We do not have estimates for the number of these households that will be brought out of fuel poverty. This is because fuel poverty is dependent on variables such as fluctuations in energy prices and household income which are not possible to accurately forecast.

DECC is currently looking closely at the existing eligibility criteria for Warm Front to ensure that we are reaching those most in need. In doing so, we shall be considering the comments and recommendations made in the National Audit Office’s Value for Money report on Warm Front which is due to be published in early 2009. Any proposed changes would be announced in due course.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the average waiting time was between applicants applying for assistance under the Warm Front scheme and the delivery of such assistance in the latest period for which figures are available. (246878)

The latest period for which figures are available is 1 April 2008 to 1 November 2008. The average waiting time for heating measures under Warm Front was 66 working days, against a contractual target of 120 working days. The average waiting time for insulation was 38 working days, against a contractual target of 40 working days.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many claims for assistance with heating made through the Warm Front scheme were rejected by his Department in the last period for which figures are available. (246879)

All eligible households that apply to the scheme are entitled to a Warm Front grant. The measures they receive will depend on the heating and insulation requirements of the property.

Warm Front does not record the number of ineligible households that approach the scheme seeking assistance.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many individuals have received assistance from the Warm Front scheme in the last 12 months. (246881)

Between 1 December 2007 and 30 November 2008, 233,178 households received assistance from the Warm Front scheme.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the efficiency of the Warm Front scheme in assisting vulnerable individuals who require heating for their homes; and if he will make a statement. (246882)

The National Audit Office (NAO) is currently performing a value for money review of Warm Front. The NAO anticipates publishing its report early this year.

DECC is also currently looking closely at several aspects of the scheme to ensure that we are providing the best value possible to our vulnerable customer base.