To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government is taking to support (a) single parents and (b) households in private rented accommodation at risk of energy poverty.
The best long-term solution to fuel poverty is to improve energy efficiency to bring the cost of heating homes down. That is what we are doing through the Energy Company Obligation where we have consulted on focussing the whole of the scheme on low income and vulnerable households from later this year. We are also introducing a price cap to stop unreasonable price rises for those 11 million households on standard variable and default tariffs. Under the Warm Home Discount Scheme, over 2 million low income and vulnerable households are provided with a £140 rebate off their energy bill each winter.
Single parents and households in private rented accommodation will benefit from all of these measures. For those in the latter category, new Private Rental Sector Regulations came into force as planned on the 1st April 2018. They mean that all private landlords need to ensure that their properties reach at least a minimum Energy Performance Certificate rating of E before granting a tenancy to new or existing tenants. We also want to use new powers under the Digital Economy Act to help us focus support more accurately towards low income and vulnerable households living in fuel poverty.