Energy: Prices

Energy and Climate Change written question – answered on 27th March 2014.

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Photo of Karl Turner Karl Turner Opposition Assistant Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps he is taking to reduce the effect of rises in rural and off-grid energy bills on the cost of living.

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

In addition to the £50 reduction in energy bills we have delivered, we are committed to helping the most vulnerable, including those in rural areas and off-grid. This year's Buy Oil Early campaign, coordinated by DECC, was launched by industry in September. DECC has also worked with industry and consumer representative organisations to provide guidance on forming oil buying clubs which will allow savings through bulk buying.

Making homes more energy efficient is vital in order to reduce energy bills. The Green Deal offers a way for homeowners to identify and pay for the most effective energy efficiency measures for their home, such as insulation and more efficient boilers.

Customers on a low income or in a hard-to-insulate property may be able get additional support through the energy company obligation. We are also currently consulting on changes to the energy company obligation that will drive greater delivery to off-gas households and make it easier for suppliers to deliver to rural areas.

Renewable heating systems allow off-gas grid householders to switch from more expensive fossil fuels. The launch of the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive by Easter will provide payments to homeowners and help drive the uptake of such systems.

DECC is also working to ensure the fuel poverty strategy will reflect the needs of the most severely fuel poor in off-gas grid areas when it is published later this year.

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