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Housing: Fuel Poverty

Volume 691: debated on Monday 30 April 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What energy efficiency measures and fuel poverty prevention measures they plan to include in future (a) building regulations, and (b) decent homes standards in the social housing sector. [HL3154]

The building regulations apply whenever work is carried out and the current energy efficiency requirements came into effect in April 2006. In the consultation document Building a Greener Future issued on 13 December 2006, the Government proposed improvements in the requirements by 25 per cent in 2010 and of 44 per cent in 2013 leading to a zero-carbon standard in 2016. The response is still being analysed. Before any amendment is made the detailed proposals will be subject to formal consultations, and they will include a review of the provision for works on existing homes as well as new construction. The building regulations do not address fuel poverty.

The decent homes standard has done much to address fuel poverty by increasing the energy efficiency of social housing stock and the homes of vulnerable people in the private sector. We have no plans to change the decent homes standard at this time.

Using the Government's standard assessment procedure for the energy rating of homes (SAP ratings) the average score for new dwellings built to 2006 standards is around 80. For social housing in 2003 the average is around 57, compared to 48 in 2001, whereas the average SAP rating for private housing was 50, up from 45. The SAP rating performance scale extends from 1 (poor) to 100 (excellent).