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Energy Security and Net Zero – in the House of Commons at on 27 February 2024.

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Photo of Amanda Solloway Amanda Solloway Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)

I pay tribute to the hon. Member for her committed work to support her constituents living in rural areas. We have a proud record of energy efficiency. We are encouraging, rather than forcing, people to make the right choices, and we pushed back the ban on gas boilers while increasing the boiler upgrade scheme to £7,500, which is one of the most generous grants in Europe.

Photo of Helen Morgan Helen Morgan Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Levelling up, Housing and Communities), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Local Government)

There are 1,858 listed properties in North Shropshire, according to the Listed Property Owners Club, and 24 conservation areas across our historical market towns and villages. That means that there is a large number of buildings that owners find it difficult to upgrade to make them energy-efficient. What conversations has the Minister had with her colleagues in the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport on enabling people to bring those homes into the 21st century and make them energy-efficient?

Photo of Amanda Solloway Amanda Solloway Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)

The hon. Member makes a good point. We have those consultations across Departments, and local authorities in rural areas in England are eligible for grants. I can give my assurance that we have those cross-government meetings.

Photo of Steve Double Steve Double Conservative, St Austell and Newquay

Many off-grid homes across Cornwall cannot convert to energy-efficient heating schemes without incurring huge costs. One option for them is to use hydro-treated vegetable oil. Can the Minister lay out what plans the Government have to support those using renewable liquid heating fuels, and will she back the campaign by our excellent candidate for Camborne and Redruth, Connor Donnithorne, to axe the tax on HVOs?

Photo of Amanda Solloway Amanda Solloway Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)

I thank my hon. Friend for raising that point. We have begun developing a consultation on the role of renewable liquid fuels in heat. We expect Department for Energy Security and Net Zero Ministers to receive detailed information on the shape of the consultation in the coming weeks, and aim to publish in the summer of 2024.