Clause 68 - Overall home-heating cost reduction targets

Part of Energy Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:00 pm on 16 June 2011.

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Photo of Alan Whitehead Alan Whitehead Labour, Southampton, Test 2:00, 16 June 2011

I beg to move amendment 119, in clause 68, page 51, line 44, after ‘homes’, insert—

‘or may specify targets for the promotion of measures for reducing the cost to specified groups of individuals of heating their homes.’.

This is essentially a two-for-one offer on the part of Labour Members, and we have already had a substantial debate about a number of aspects of the targeting of ECO, so I will not go over them in detail again but, on this amendment, I would like to divide the Committee if necessary. I have six propositions which are all that need to be said, and then I will sit down.

First, we need to deal with hard-to-treat homes if we are to achieve our climate change targets. Secondly, ECO can deal with hard-to-treat homes. Thirdly, ECO will inevitably be limited in scope and will not therefore treat all hard-to-treat homes in the first few  years of its operation. Fourthly, people in fuel poverty disproportionately live in hard-to-treat homes. Fifthly, targeting people in fuel poverty who live in hard-to-treat homes should therefore be undertaken within the limited scope of the existing ECO. Sixthly, targeting that raises the energy efficiency of a district even though some homes in that district might not be in fuel poverty makes sense, provided that the targeting relates to the likelihood of high fuel poverty existing in that district.

Those are reasons for the amendment, and I trust that the Minister will agree with them.