Fuel Poverty

Energy and Climate Change written question – answered on 29th February 2012.

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Photo of Roger Williams Roger Williams Liberal Democrat, Brecon and Radnorshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assistance the energy company obligation will provide to people on low pay who are at risk of fuel poverty but are not receiving benefits.

Photo of Gregory Barker Gregory Barker The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change

The Green Deal and energy company obligation will enable households to access energy efficiency measures at no up-front cost, while also providing extra assistance to those who need it most.

We have proposed that the Affordable Warmth element of ECO should be targeted at low income and vulnerable households. Means tested benefits are one of the best ways of identifying those likely to be most at risk of suffering from the effects of fuel poverty. A number of the qualifying benefits target those in low paid work, such as child tax credit.

Under our proposals, all households would be able to access the support available under the carbon reduction element of ECO, including those on low pay who are at risk of fuel poverty but not receiving benefits.

We will also be developing guidance shortly under the Home Energy Conservation Act to encourage local authorities to promote the Green Deal/ECO in deprived areas.

Furthermore, the consultation invited views on whether there is a need for and the possible structure of any safeguards within the policy to ensure that those most at risk of fuel poverty will benefit sufficiently from ECO. We are considering carefully responses to the Green Deal and ECO consultation and the final details of the policy will be published in due course.

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