The Department of Energy and Climate Change and its predecessors have implemented a large number of policies to address energy security, emissions reductions, low carbon economic growth and fuel poverty since 2000. Some of the key achievements are set out as follows, along with information on the number of households assisted by the Warm Front scheme in Hemsworth constituency. It would be disproportionately costly to provide statistical information on all the impact of all the policies to the level of detail requested, but statistical information covering energy and climate change is available at:
Total UK greenhouse gas emissions have been reduced by about 12 per cent. compared with 1997.
The UK is on track to cut emissions by nearly twice our Kyoto target (22 per cent. below 1990 levels by 2008-12 compared to the target of 12.5 per cent. set out under the Kyoto agreement).
The Climate Change Act in 2008 set a target of at least 80 per cent. reduction in greenhouse gases by 2050. Our first three carbon budgets legally bind the UK to a cut in greenhouse gases of 34 per cent. by 2018-22 against a 1990 baseline. In 2009, the UK's Low Carbon Transition Plan set out the long-term vision for climate change and energy and showing how we will meet the carbon budgets set out in the Climate Change Act.
In the same year, my department published National Policy Statements on energy infrastructure which will lead to faster and fairer planning decisions and a diverse low carbon energy mix. An ambitious new framework for clean coal will also drive development of carbon capture and storage.
The UK's energy market is the most competitive in the EU and has attracted over £97 billion of investment from 1997 to 2008 (at 2005 prices). The UK also has the greatest installed capacity of offshore wind in the world.
Turning to household measures, since 2002, the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) and its predecessors have helped over six million households with insulation measures with almost three million of these in a priority group of vulnerable households.
Government will be providing more financial assistance to help people generate their own heat and electricity in low carbon ways, where appropriate, through "clean energy cashback" schemes:
Feed-in Tariffs (FITs) will be in place from April 2010. Payment for low carbon electricity produced by small-scale generators (including households), will be provided through the electricity supply companies to encourage the uptake of low carbon and renewable electricity generating technologies by households, businesses and communities.
The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), scheduled for launch in April 2011, will provide households, communities and businesses with payment for getting their heat from renewable sources. The detailed design of the RHI is currently out for consultation.
Warm Front scheme: Hemsworth constituency
DECC's Warm Front scheme provides grants for households on qualifying income and disability related benefits to install a range of insulation and heating measures in their homes. Since 2005 the scheme has assisted 2694 households in the Hemsworth constituency.