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 Ed Miliband Ed Miliband The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change 10:30 am, 23rd April 2009

The hon. Gentleman makes a good point in the second half of his question, if not in the first. On his first point, as I said, fuel poverty has increased because energy prices have increased, but since 2002, some 5 million houses have been insulated under our programmes. Our record on fuel poverty and what we have managed to do through housing and income are not matched by the previous Government or, indeed, by other previous Governments. He knows very well that fuel poverty would be far higher if we had not taken those measures, which have cost lots of money and which the Conservative party opposes.

On the second part of the hon. Gentleman's question, with which I am more sympathetic, he is right to say that people off the gas grid face particular challenges. I think that he will see from this morning's announcements that the non-standard grant level has also been increased. I hope that that will help people who are facing the circumstances that he describes. I also hope that if he has further concerns following the announcement, he will take them up with the Minister in charge of Warm Front.

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