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Fuel Poverty: Preston

Volume 503: debated on Wednesday 6 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps his Department is taking to reduce the level of fuel poverty in Preston. (308579)

The Department of Energy and Climate Change is responsible for national programmes aimed at reducing fuel poverty. The combination of Warm Front, the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT), Community Energy Savings Programme (CESP), Decent Homes and local programmes delivered through local government, partnerships, energy suppliers, eaga and NEA (such as Warm Zones and the Community Energy Efficiency Fund (CEEF)) are all important in tackling fuel poverty across regions of England.

The Warm Front scheme is the Government's main scheme for tackling fuel poverty and up to 30 November 2009 has delivered energy efficiency measures to 8,414 households in Preston since the year 2000. Additionally, over 438 benefit entitlement checks have been undertaken, identifying an average increase in income of £23.63 for those entitled to additional benefits.

The Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) requires energy suppliers to meet at least 40 per cent. of their obligation by promoting and installing measures in the homes of a priority group of vulnerable consumers in receipt of qualifying benefits or people aged over 70 years. Measures are only reported at GB level and details at constituency level are not available. However, the Government are developing a voluntary agreement with suppliers for them to report CERT main measures into the Homes Energy Efficiency Database (HEED) maintained by the Energy Saving Trust; the Government hope to conclude negotiations shortly.