Warm Front

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 18th January 2007.

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Photo of John Mann John Mann PPS (Rt Hon Richard Caborn, Minister of State), Department for Culture, Media & Sport

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many quotations for boiler replacements under the Warm Front initiative exceeded the individual grant available in (a) 2003, (b) 2004, (c) 2005 and (d) 2006.

Photo of Ian Pearson Ian Pearson Minister of State (Climate Change and the Environment), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

holding answer 10 January 2007

As the Warm Front scheme developed, new (raised) grant levels have been introduced to keep abreast of changes in the market place and Warm Front's evolving policy framework. In the interests of accuracy, the various grant levels have been separately identified.

The proportion of boiler replacements which exceeded the grant maxima in the relevant scheme years are:

2003-04
Grant limit Boiler replacements costing above grant maxima (percentage)
£1,500 11

Due to the varying nature of work involved in boiler replacement jobs, it is inevitable that some cases exceed the grant maximum, and 11 per cent. for year 2003-04 is deemed a reasonable level.

2004-05
Grant limit Boiler replacements costing above grant maxima (percentage)
£1,500 88
£2,500 42

Small increases in labour costs and material prices resulted in a large percentage increase of boiler replacements exceeding the grant maxima. This level was not deemed acceptable and, as such, a legislative change to raise the grant level was identified as the necessary course of action.

2005-06
Grant limit Boiler replacements costing above grant maxima (percentage)
£1,500 97
£2,500 84
£2,700 29

2005-06 witnessed the transition between the first phase of Warm Front, and the current phase. As part of this transition, prices for materials and labour were harmonised across regions throughout England. Warm Front policy was also developed and previous Warm Front customers (from the first phase of the scheme) found themselves able to re-apply for the scheme and qualify for a greater level of assistance. Indications are that a significant proportion of the 29 per cent. of boiler replacements exceeding the £2,700 maximum had already received a portion of their available grant under the first phase of the scheme.

2006-07 (current)
Grant limit Boiler replacements costing above grant maxima (percentage)
£2,700 30

Where heating measures alone are recommended, around 70 per cent. of cases can be fully funded by Warm Front. 40 per cent. of those cases that exceed the grant maxima have previously received assistance from the scheme—and thus are seeking grant support with less money in the household account.

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