Fuel Poverty

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 22nd March 2018.

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Photo of Vicky Foxcroft Vicky Foxcroft Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the Government has plans to support community-based energy projects which advise residents on fuel poverty.

Photo of Claire Perry Claire Perry The Minister of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)

The Government is providing £1.3m funding for the Big Energy Saving Network programme and Big Energy Saving Week campaign this winter. The Big Energy Saving Network funds third sector organisations and community groups, to support vulnerable consumers so they can switch and save. With around £4m funding from Government the Network has reached over vulnerable 450,000 consumers in the last four years and we aim to reach a further 100,000 this winter.

The Industry Initiative element of Governments’ Warm Home Discount scheme provides services funded by energy suppliers. £19.4m was spent in 2016/17 on activities to support consumers, which provided help to reduce and manage energy debts, helping consumers find additional benefits and sources of income to pay for their energy.

Recognising the value of local expertise in tackling fuel poverty Government also commissioned Cornwall Council to produce two toolkits. The toolkits share best practice in establishing support to tackle fuel poverty and in making ‘cold home referrals’ with the health sector. The toolkits have recently been published on the Citizens Advice website.

In addition, the Energy Company Obligation, which requires the installation of energy efficiency measures in homes, includes an element which obligated suppliers can deliver in partnership with local authorities and other local organisations.

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