Energy and Climate Change
Stephen McCabe (Birmingham, Selly Oak, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, with reference to the Warm Homes and Energy Conservation Act 2000 and the UK Fuel Poverty Strategy 2001, what assessment he has made of his Department's progress towards eradicating fuel poverty for all households in England by 2016.
Gregory Barker (Minister of State (Climate Change), Energy and Climate Change; Bexhill and Battle, Conservative)
The coalition Government are committed to doing all that is reasonably practicable to end fuel poverty in England by 2016 and to supporting low-income vulnerable households heat their homes at an affordable cost.
The current definition of fuel poverty means that a household is fuel poor if it would need to spend more than 10% of income on adequate energy services in the home. The latest estimates, which were published by the Department in May 2012, showed that there were 3.5 million fuel poor households in England in 2010 (which was around 0.5 million households lower than in 2009) and that this was expected to increase to 3.9 million households by 2012.
Although the number of households in fuel poverty reduced between 2009 and 2010, fuel poverty remains a huge challenge. This Government have a range of policies to address the contributing factors of fuel poverty, including Warm Front, Carbon Emissions Reduction Target, Warm Home Discount, winter fuel payments and cold weather payments. In the future, the new Green Deal and energy company obligation will be our flagship policy for improving the energy efficiency of the nation's housing stock.