EFRA PN57/080911

Session 2007-08

11 September 2008




ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND FUEL POVERTY INQUIRY: GOVERNMENT ENERGY EFFICIENCY PACKAGE ANNOUNCEMENT

The Committee's press notice of 17 July 2008 invited interested parties to submit written evidence to its inquiry into energy efficiency and fuel poverty (see terms of reference below). On 11 September the Prime Minister announced a package of measures to enable households to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. Information on this package can be found at: http://www.defra.gov.uk/news/2008/080911a.htm

As it relates closely to the inquiry's terms of reference it would be helpful if written submissions could, if possible, take into account the announcement made on 11 September. Submissions are due by 2 October 2008.

Original Terms of Reference

The Committee's original terms of reference are set out below:

The Committee is examining the UK Energy Efficiency Action Plan, with particular reference to Defra's efforts to improve households' energy efficiency and its statutory duty under the Warm Homes and Energy Conservation Act 2000 to ensure that, as far as reasonably practicable, people in England do not live in fuel poverty.

The Committee will consider in particular the following:

1. Defra's Departmental Report 2008 shows slippage against PSA 7 on eliminating fuel poverty in vulnerable households by 2010, with a rise in the number of households in fuel poverty. Does Defra need to redefine its approaches to ensure it meets the statutory 2010 target?

2. How effectively can policies aimed at addressing the energy efficiency of dwellings tackle fuel poverty, given recent rapid increases in fuel prices, and how can strategies be developed to join up energy efficiency approaches with those on fuel prices and income maximisation?

3. Does the UK Energy Efficiency Action Plan 2007 give sufficient weight to the need to address fuel poverty as well as tackle greenhouse gas emissions through increased use of energy efficiency measures?

4. What should be the comparative contribution of government and energy supply industry programmes to achieving fuel poverty objectives, and what levels of investment are required (for example for Warm Front, the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) and the Supplier Obligation post 2011)? How can these programmes be better integrated?

5. What should the longer term strategies be, in particular for those in the social housing sector after Decent Homes , and what role should the energy supply industry have post CERT (post 2011)?

6. How can we make greater progress on hard to treat homes (for example solid wall properties or those not connected to mains gas supplies)?

7. How should smart metering, new technologies and microgeneration be deployed and incentivised in fuel poverty approaches? Is there sufficient scope in current approaches to apply the most appropriate solutions?

8. Is there a problem identifying those who are already, or are at risk of becoming, fuel poor, and how can data sharing across the public and private sector be improved so that assistance can be targetted?

9. What are the specific issues for new homes and how can strategies ensure that all new homes minimise the potential for occupiers to experience fuel poverty?

10. How does the Winter Fuel Payment system impact on fuel poverty and could this funding be better utilised to tackle the underlying issues leading to households becoming fuel poor?

The Committee invites all interested parties to address these matters in writing. The deadline for submissions is Thursday 2 October 2008. More information about the required format of submissions is given below.

Oral evidence sessions will be announced in due course.

NOTES FOR SUBMITTERS

Please see note for submissions in the 17 July 2008 press release.

NOTES TO EDITORS

Further details about this inquiry can be found at: http://www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/environment__food_and_rural_affairs/efra_energy_efficiency.cfm