Energy: Prices

Department for Energy and Climate Change written question – answered on 14th January 2015.

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Photo of Stephen Gilbert Stephen Gilbert Liberal Democrat, St Austell and Newquay

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what steps his Department is taking to reduce the cost of energy for homes not connected to mains gas or electricity.

Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Minister of State (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills), Minister of State for Portsmouth, The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change

Whilst this Government is committed to helping reduce energy bills for all consumers, we acknowledge the challenges faced by off-gas grid consumers, in particular due to higher costs of heating fuel.

In November we held the Fourth Ministerial Roundtable on heating oil and LPG, bringing together industry, consumer groups and MPs to discuss issues affecting off-gas grid customers. We co-ordinate and support the industry’s “Buy Oil Early” campaign, so people stock up at good times for price and quick delivery. In December the Autumn Statement allocated £25m to DECC for funding the installation of central heating in off-gas grid households that currently do not have such a system.

The launch of the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive last year gives off-gas grid households a real choice of heating for the first time, by providing payments to offset the extra cost of installing renewable heating technologies compared to the replacement of their existing system.

Energy efficiency is often the best way to reduce both heating and electricity bills. The Green Deal Home Improvement Fund offers grants to all householders for energy efficiency improvements to their home, such as insulation, whilst our amendments to the ECO Affordable Warmth scheme provide stronger incentives for energy suppliers to install energy efficiency measures in off-gas grid homes.

More widely the Warm Home Discount, worth £140 this year, will go to more than two million low income and vulnerable households, including many off the gas grid.

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