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Housing: Insulation

Volume 487: debated on Monday 26 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what funding is available to people between the ages of 60 and 70 years to help them insulate their homes; for what reasons 70 is the age at which people can claim the maximum level of such funding; and if he will make a statement. (248484)

[holding answer 19 January 2009]: Warm Front is the Government’s main scheme for tackling fuel poverty in the private sector in England for vulnerable householders. It is administered and managed by Eaga plc. on behalf of the Government. The scheme provides grants for specified heating and insulation measures up to £2,700 in value (£4,000 where the work includes installation of an oil fired central heating system). Pensioners in receipt of qualifying benefits (such as pension credit) are eligible to full assistance under the scheme.

Under the carbon emissions reduction target (CERT), energy suppliers are required to offer substantial discounts for key insulation measures, such as loft insulation and cavity wall insulation. Subject to survey of a property, suppliers are currently offering all households without insulation at least 50 per cent. discount from the Energy Saving Trust guide price for insulation measures.

For reasons of equity, we oblige suppliers to meet 40 per cent. of their CERT in a priority group of vulnerable and low-income households. This means anyone over 70 years, or those in receipt of qualifying benefits (e.g. income, pension benefit) including those over 60 years. To meet their targets, suppliers currently offer priority groups such measures at little or no cost, subject to survey. People over 70 years are statistically shown to be increasingly at risk of falling into fuel poverty, and are therefore included in the priority group definition.