Fuel-poor Households

Part of Energy and Climate Change – in the House of Commons at 10:30 am on 23rd April 2009.

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Photo of Hugo Swire Hugo Swire Chair, Speaker's Advisory Committee on Works of Art 10:30 am, 23rd April 2009

The reason why there was no mention of fuel poverty in yesterday's Budget is that the Centre for Sustainable Energy estimates that fuel poverty has

"at the very least doubled since 2003."

So I suspect that the Labour party will not be mentioning it in its manifesto either.

My constituency is in Devon, where 21 wards, including Exmouth Littleham Urban, fall within the worst 21 per cent. of wards in England. However, the real problem lies outside the main town centres and urban areas; it is to be found in the rural areas, where Warm Front is less effective because of the lack of accessibility to gas boilers and the problems with cavity wall insulation. Those things are so typical of the kind of houses that exist in rural areas in my constituency. What can the Secretary of State do to ensure that the disguised fuel poverty in rural areas resulting from Warm Front's failing in that respect can be addressed urgently?

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