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Energy: Prices

Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 24 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps his Department is taking to increase liquidity in wholesale gas and electricity markets. (255211)

The Government aim to maintain and where necessary to improve regulatory conditions to ensure effective wholesale energy markets, in the UK and the EU, with sufficient liquidity to send effective price signals to market participants. We welcome Ofgem’s current work on wholesale market liquidity, and look forward to its findings.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what his most recent estimate is of the effect of changes in domestic energy prices in the last 12 months on the number of people in fuel poverty. (255857)

The most recent fuel poverty estimates are available for 2006 in the Sixth Annual Progress report on the Fuel Poverty Strategy:

http://www.berr.gov.uk/files/file48036.pdf

These show that in the UK, there were around 3.5 million households living in fuel poverty in 2006 and around 2.4 million in England. The statistical annex to this report gives indicative projections for fuel poverty in England. These show an estimated further 1.2 million households moving into fuel poverty between 2006 and 2008, largely due to fuel price increases. However, these estimates were based on information known at the time and therefore have clearly been overtaken by a more complex price increase and so should not be regarded as representing the Government’s view about what the current figures are.