To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
(1) what expenditure plans he has for the £7.5 million funding designed to improve the relationship between Warm Front and the Energy Efficiency Commitment, as described in paragraph 7.42 of the 2006 pre-Budget report; and if he will make a statement;
(2) how local authorities planning area-based energy efficiency programmes will be able to access the £7.5 million proposed expenditure noted in paragraph 7.42 of the 2006 pre-Budget report; whom he expects to benefit from the expenditure; and if he will make a statement.
Following the announcement in the pre-Budget report, details have been developed for a competitive bidding process to determine the allocation of the £6.3 million of this funding that is available in England.
Organisations will be able to bid, against a set of criteria, for resources to support them in the development and delivery of local area-based initiatives designed to promote the installation of energy efficiency measures in households and tackle fuel poverty. Organisations will be encouraged to work in partnership with others and are required to secure agreement from the relevant local authority(ies), as their involvement is important in ensuring the success of local initiatives. Bidders will have to demonstrate their ability to provide a cost effective and sustainable service that works effectively and efficiently with the Energy Efficiency Commitment and Warm Front. I expect the open tender to be launched soon, with the successful bidders being selected on a competitive basis thereafter.
Further information is available on the fuel poverty pages on the DEFRA website.