Fuel Poverty

Part of Intellectual Property (Unjustified Threats) Bill [Lords] – in the House of Commons at 1:58 pm on 21st March 2017.

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Photo of Nick Hurd Nick Hurd The Minister of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy 1:58 pm, 21st March 2017

I agree with my hon. Friend. We all know from our constituents about the stress that is caused by anxiety about fuel. I represent a relatively affluent constituency in London, but the statistics show that 8% of my constituents qualify as fuel-poor. This issue affects constituencies across the country. I certainly give my hon. Friend that assurance, and I hope that he will be very satisfied by the material in the consumer Green Paper that will be published imminently.

Recognising that improving household energy efficiency is the most sustainable long-term solution to tackling fuel poverty, we are not complacent, and we are going further to take action. Today, the Electricity and Gas (Energy Company Obligation) (Amendment) Order is being debated in the House of Lords. It will extend the scheme from 1 April 2017 to 30 September 2018. Should the scheme proceed as planned, we expect more than 500,000 homes to be improved over the coming 18 months. The order will also reform the energy company obligation so that 70% of the support available under it will be directed at low-income homes. That represents a real-terms increase from £310 million to £450 million per year, which will be invested in improving the energy efficiency of homes that most need support.