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Fuel Poverty

Volume 503: debated on Thursday 7 January 2010

14. To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many households were in fuel poverty in (a) the UK and (b) Billericay constituency in (i) 2003 and (ii) 2009. (308904)

The estimated number of households in fuel poverty in the UK was around 2 million in 2003. The latest year for which figures are available is for 2007 and this shows that there were around 4 million fuel- poor households in the UK.

The most recently available sub-regional split of fuel poverty relates to 2006, and shows that there were around 2,600 fuel-poor households in the Billericay constituency. In 2003 there were around 2,400 fuel-poor households in the Billericay constituency.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps he plans to take to reduce the level of fuel poverty among households not on the gas main. (308909)

We are aware of the challenges that exist for households off the gas main. To help address this:

Ofgem has incentivised large gas networks to provide connections to deprived households off the network;

CERT provides incentives for energy suppliers to promote heat pumps in off-gas-grid vulnerable properties;

Warm Front in England is piloting air source heat pumps, and

The forthcoming Renewable Heat Incentive has the potential to benefit off-gas-grid consumers.