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Warm Homes and Energy Conservation Act 2000

Volume 492: debated on Tuesday 12 May 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what progress the Government (a) made during 2008 and (b) has made to date in 2009 towards meeting the targets in the Warm Homes and Energy Conservation Act 2000; and if he will make a statement. (274029)

The Government's UK Sixth Annual Progress Report on Fuel Poverty was published on 2 October 2008. It shows that, in 2006, the latest period for which figures are available, there were around 3.5 million households in fuel poverty across the UK, an increase of one million households since 2005. Around 2.75 million of these were vulnerable households (containing children, the elderly, or a person who is disabled or long-term sick).

In England, there were around 2.4 million fuel poor households, of which around 1.9 million were vulnerable. This represents a rise of 900,000 households from 2005 to 2006 and a rise of 700,000 vulnerable households over the same period.

As fuel prices continue to rise faster than incomes, the proportion of households in fuel poverty continued to increase. Projections indicate that for 2008, a further 1.2 million households in England might be in fuel poverty.

More recent progress will be reported in the Seventh Annual Progress Report on Fuel Poverty to be published later this year.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the effect of the Warm Homes and Energy Conservation Act 2000 on fuel poverty since July 2008; and if he will make a statement. (274030)

DECC has not commissioned research on the effect of the Warm Homes and Energy Conservation Act 2000. However, I announced a review of fuel poverty during evidence to the EFRA Select Committee on 14 January 2009.

The Review is examining whether existing measures to tackle fuel poverty could be made more effective. It is also considering whether new policies should be introduced to help us make further progress towards our goals, particularly in light of market conditions and our aims to reduce carbon emissions.

The initial findings of the Fuel Poverty Review are expected in the summer of 2009.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many officials in his Department at each pay band have responsibility for the (a) formulation and (b) implementation of policy on the Warm Homes and Energy Conservation Act 2000; what other posts in his Department and its predecessors each such official has held; and if he will make a statement. (274051)

DECC has the following officials by pay band with responsibility for fuel poverty and the Warm Homes and Energy Conservation Act 2000.

Number

SCS Pay Band 1

2

Grade 6

1

Grade 7

5

SEO

1

HEO

6

EO

3

AO

1

DECC is planning to supplement the team with two additional Grade 7 posts. In addition support is provided when required from other parts of DECC.