Energy and Climate Change
Bob Ainsworth (Coventry North East, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps his Department is taking to reduce the levels of fuel poverty in (a) Coventry, (b) Coventry North East constituency and (c) England.
Gregory Barker (The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change; Bexhill and Battle, Conservative)
The coalition Government are committed to tackling fuel poverty and supporting vulnerable consumers to heat their homes at an affordable cost.
We continue to fund the Warm Front scheme, providing low income vulnerable households, living in energy inefficient properties, with a range of energy efficient heating and insulation measures. Since 2005 Warm Front has assisted 9,715 households in Coventry, 4,204 in Coventry North East Constituency(1). Since the start of the scheme in June 2000 the scheme has assisted 2.3 million households across England.
In winter 2011-12, the warm home discount scheme provided energy supplier funded discounts to well over 660,000 of the poorest pensioners across Great Britain with a core group discount of £120 off their electricity bills. Nearly 600,000 of these customers will have received the discount without having to claim as a result of data matching between Government and energy suppliers. This is a significant benefit for a group which may struggle to claim. Other low income vulnerable households may also be assisted through the scheme. Overall we expect 2 million low income vulnerable households a year to be assisted through the warm home discount scheme.
In addition, Government provide pensioner households with winter fuel payments to help with additional heating costs during the winter. Cold weather payments are also made to low income and vulnerable households where there is an average temperature of 0°C or below for seven consecutive days. These payments have been permanently increased to £25 per week and in winter 2011-12 over 5 million cold weather payments were paid in Great Britain worth an estimated £129 million.
(1 )This information is only available post 2005.