I am of course familiar with that argument of rising block tariffs, but that too has unintended consequences, which often hit pensioners in particular. However, I think I would be ruled out of order if I lurched into a discussion of tariffs, which are not necessarily the subject of the amendments before us.
We are left with collection via electricity bills as the only practical solution. The Government accept that that requires measures to strengthen the cognitive link between the green deal charge and energy savings, which in many cases will be realised on the gas bill. That is why the Government plan two requirements to increase the link between the two. First, for the 14.8 million households that receive their gas and electricity from the same supplier, the Government plan to introduce a requirement on energy suppliers to provide a combined energy bill, with the charges for gas and electricity supply and the green deal charge clearly identified on the front page. Secondly, the Government will introduce a requirement for electricity suppliers to reproduce the estimated savings from the green deal assessment on the green deal customer’s annual energy statement.
On the issue of disconnection, it is important that the green deal charge is treated in the same way as normal energy bill payments, so that defaults are kept to an absolute minimum and low-cost finance can be offered. I do not expect the green deal to increase disconnection, given the protection of the golden rule principle.