Fuel poverty

All Standard Notes
25 Documents
DateDescription
11.09.2014Smart meters
Between now and 2020 more than 50 million new 'smart meters' will be rolled out to 30 million homes and smaller businesses in Britain. These are intended to allow consumers to see and adjust in real time what energy they are using. The Public Accounts Committee considers the challenges associated with roll-out 'huge'.
06.03.2014ECO, the Energy Company Obligation
The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) provides funding to improve energy efficiency in difficult to treat housing and the homes of 'those most in need'. This note explains this Government policy.
06.02.2014The Green Deal
The Green Deal went 'fully live' on 28 January 2013 in England and Wales and on 25 February 2013 in Scotland. This note explains the Government's policy.
27.01.2014Components of an energy bill
The latest round of energy price rises has brought increasing focus on the different elements that make up a domestic energy bill and particularly which are responsible for these price rises. This note describes the different component parts of a domestic energy bill and summarises existing estimates of the contribution of each part to current bills and contributions to past bill increases.
10.12.2013Help with energy bills
This note points towards sources of financial and practical help for constituents with domestic energy bills. It links to sources for more information. It also outlines policy developments and political commitments in this area.
11.11.2013Cold Weather Payments for winter 2013/2014
Cold Weather Payments are made from the Social Fund to certain recipients of Income Support, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit or Pension Credit during periods of very cold weather.
01.11.2013Winter Fuel Payments update
The Winter Fuel Payment is a tax-free annual payment to help older people meet the cost of their winter fuel bills. The 'standard' rates are 200 per eligible household where the oldest person is under 80, and 300 for households containing a person aged 80 or over.
22.08.2013Warm Front Scheme
The Warm Front scheme in England was a programme designed to help vulnerable households, including those in fuel poverty, to benefit from energy efficiency improvements such as home heating and loft insulation measures. It has now been replaced by the Green Deal.
16.08.2013Community Energy Savings Programme (CESP)
The Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP) is a three-year obligation on major energy suppliers and generators to offer free or low cost energy efficiency measures to communities in certain low income areas. It ran from 1 September 2009 to December 2012.
15.08.2013Simplifying Energy Tariffs
The energy regulator Ofgem has finalised its proposals for simplifying energy tariffs, while retaining competition in the GB energy supply market. The Government is also taking 'backstop' powers in the current Energy Bill on tariffs.
14.08.2013Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT)
The Carbon Emission Reduction Target (CERT) placed a five year obligation on gas and electricity suppliers to reduce carbon emissions in the household sector through energy efficiency improvements. It ran from April 2008 - December 2012.
12.04.2013Heating oil and other off-gas grid heating
This note sets out the regulation of the off-gas grid energy market, and possible sources of support for those who live off the gas grid and have to rely on other fuels such as heating oil or LPG to heat their homes.
25.10.2012Cold Weather Payments for winter 2012/2013
Cold Weather Payments of 25 pounds a week are made to certain recipients of Income Support, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance or Pension Credit during periods of very cold weather. To 'trigger' the payments, the average temperature at a specified weather station must be recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees or below for seven consecutive days.
09.10.2012Energy complaints and the Energy Ombudsman
This short note outlines complaints routes against energy companies.
24.08.2012Winter Fuel Payments for 'off-gas grid' households
Four million (15% of) households in the UK are not connected to the mains gas grid and their average fuel costs are signifiantly higher than those with a mains gas supply. A Private Members Bill presented by Mike Weir MP aims to help older off-grid households by bringing forward the timing of Winter Fuel Payments to enable them to purchase fuel at a time of year when prices are likely to be lower.
23.07.2012Fuel Poverty
Fuel poverty fell sharply to a low point in 2003 and 2004, nearly trebled between 2004 and 2009 before falling back somewhat in 2010. The Government and devolved administrations have targets to eradicate fuel poverty among vulnerable households by 2010 and 'as far as reasonably practicable' no household should be in fuel poverty by 2016 (2018 in Wales).
23.05.2012The draft Energy Bill 2012
The 2012 Queen's Speech announced that "My Government will propose reform of the electricity market to deliver secure, clean and affordable electricity and ensure prices are fair'. This will be done through the latest in a line of Energy Bills, published in draft for pre-legislative scrutiny on 22 May 2012.
17.04.2012The 'conservatory tax'
Changes to the building regulations are currently being consulted upon. These have led to press reports of a 'conservatory tax' of up to 10% on certain home improvements, through required associated energy efficiency measures. Reports have also said that people will be forced to take out green deal loans if they cannot afford to fund these improvements.
03.02.2012The Warm Home Discount Scheme
The Warm Home Discount (WHD) scheme runs from 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2015 and offers a rebate on electricity bills, of 120 this year, rising to 140 in year 4. The Government expects around 2 million households to be assisted annually. The funding comes from the participating energy suppliers which they pass on to all consumers through energy bills.
12.01.2011Fuel Poverty: Topical Social Indicators Page
Trends in the level of fuel poverty and variations by household and dwelling characteristics
23.12.2010Cold Weather Payments for winter 2010/2011
Cold Weather Payments are made to certain claimants of means-tested benefits during periods of very cold weather. To trigger the £25 payments, the average temperature in an area must be recorded as, or forecast to be, 0°C or below for seven consecutive days.
25.01.2010Support for domestic energy users
This note sets out financial support available to domestic energy consumers, including grants for central heating, insulation, microgeneration equipment and social security measures. It also explains how to seek advice or information about gas and electricity problems from Consumer Direct and the Energy Ombudsman.
22.01.2010Cold Weather Payments
Cold Weather Payments. By Steven Kennedy. SN/SP/696.
05.01.2010Sources of Social Statistics: Energy and Environment
Brief guide to online resources on these subjects
06.10.2008Energy price rises and their impact on demand
Social Indicators article which looks at price rises across different sectors in recent years, the impact on demand and the implications of this. This subject will be looked at in greater detail in the Library talk on 3 November: http://hcl1.hclibrary.parliament.uk/whatsnew/talks.asp#144
All Research Papers
8 Documents
DateDescription
12.03.2013Energy Bill: Committee Stage Report
This paper complements Library Research Paper 12/79 on the Energy Bill 2012-13. It covers the Bill's Second Reading and Committee Stages. The Bill seeks to implement electricity market reform and introduces 'contracts for difference' to support all forms of low carbon generation, including nuclear. Government amendments made during Committee Stage related to cheaper energy tariffs and setting a decarbonisation target.
13.12.2012Energy Bill
The Energy Bill [Bill 100 of 2012-13] seeks to implement 'electricity market reform' and through this achieve 'secure, clean and affordable' electricity supplies. The Bill was introduced to the Commons on 29 November 2012 and will have its Second Reading debate on 19 December 2012. A draft Bill was subject to pre-legislative scrutiny by the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee.
06.09.2011Energy Bill [HL]: Committee Stage Report
This is a report on the House of Commons Committee Stage of the Energy Bill. It complements Library Research Paper 11/36 (Energy Bill) prepared for the Commons Second Reading.
04.05.2011Energy Bill [HL]
This briefing on the Energy Bill has been prepared for the Second Reading Debate in the House of Commons. The flagship policy in the Bill is the 'Green Deal', a scheme whereby homes would be given finance upfront to make energy efficiency improvements, which would then be paid for by energy bill savings. The Bill would also set up a new obligation on energy companies to help certain groups of consumers with saving energy, who need extra support. The Bill also introduces a range of other measures designed to improve energy efficiency; such as facilitating the roll-out of smart meters, widening access to energy performance certificates and making information on energy bills clearer. The Bill also provides measures designed to help improve energy security, to encourage low carbon generation and to grant additional powers to the Coal Authority to charge for certain services.
03.12.2009Energy Bill. Bill 7 2009-10.
The Bill would introduce: a carbon capture and storage incentive to support the construction of up to four UK demonstration projects, to be chosen in a competition; mandatory social price support to lower energy bills (social tariffs) for the most vulnerable, which would replace the current voluntary agreement which expires in 2011. It would also add ensuring security of supply and protecting consumers to the objectives of the regulator, Ofgem; increase the regulator's powers to deal with exploitation of electricity distribution constraints by generators; and increase Ofgem's power to fine companies. It would give the Secretary of State the power to ban cross-subsidy between gas and electricity accounts.
17.03.2009Fuel Poverty Bill (Bill 11 of 2008-09)
This Bill would bring in three measures: an energy efficiency programme to bring existing homes up to current energy efficiency levels; social tariffs to limit vulnerable households' exposure to high energy bills; and reinforcement of the legal duty on the Government to act to end fuel poverty.
28.11.2001Home Energy Conservation Bill (Bill 11 of 2001-02)
Home Energy Conservation Bill (Bill 11 of 2001/02). House of Commons Library Research Paper 01/105
07.03.2000Warm Homes and Energy Conservation Bill - (revised edition) (Bill 16 of 1999/2000)
Warm Homes and Energy Conservation Bill - revised edition) (Bill 16 of 1999/2000). House of Commons Library Research Paper 00/26.