Energy and Climate Change Committee


The Energy and Climate Change Committee today issued a call for written evidence for its forthcoming short inquiry into fuel poverty.  Despite having targets in England to eradicate fuel poverty amongst vulnerable groups by 2010 and in all households by 2016, the problem is getting worse: more than 4 million households were in fuel poverty in England in September 2008, compared to 1.2 million in 2004.   The Government has taken steps to try to improve the situation - for example, through bringing forward legislation to place social tariffs on a statutory footing - and the Committee wants to find out whether those steps are adequate and what more can be done to reduce levels of fuel poverty.

The forthcoming election means this will be a short inquiry, with two evidence sessions. 

Respondents are free to comment on any issues they consider relevant, although the Committee particularly welcomes evidence addressing the effectiveness (or otherwise) of:

• Progress against Government targets
• The definition of households in fuel poverty commonly used - ie, those households where more than 10% of income has to be spent on fuel for adequate heating
• The coherence of the Government’s initiatives on energy efficiency
• The methods used to target assistance at households which need it most
• Social tariffs and plans to put social price support on a statutory footing
• Winter fuel payments and cold weather payments
• Support for households which are not connected to the mains gas grid

The deadline for the submission of written evidence is 15 February 2010.


Written evidence should be in Word or rich text format- not PDF format-and sent by e-mail to The body of the e-mail must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. The e-mail should also make clear who the submission is from. Hard copy submissions should be sent to: The Clerk, Energy and Climate Change Committee, 7 Millbank, London, SW1P 3JA. The deadline is 15 February 2010. As a guideline submissions should be no longer than 3000 words. However, please contact the Committee staff if you wish to discuss this matter.

Submissions should be in the format of a self-contained memorandum. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and the document should, if possible, include an executive summary. Further guidance on the submission of evidence can be found at

Submissions should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere. Once submitted, your submission becomes the property of the Committee and no public use should be made of it unless you have first obtained permission from the Clerk of the Committee. Please bear in mind that Committees are not able to investigate individual cases.

The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to publish the written evidence it receives, either by printing the evidence, publishing it on the internet or by making it publicly available through the Parliamentary Archives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure; the Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.

For data protection purposes, it would be helpful if individuals wishing to submit written evidence send their contact details in a covering letter. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.


Media Enquiries: Hannah Pearce, Tel: 020 7219 8430, e-mail:

Specific Committee Information:, Tel: 020 7219 2569