Work and Pensions Committee: Press Notice

7 May 2009: For Immediate Release

'Select Committee to hear evidence on Fuel Poverty'

The House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee today announced a one-off evidence session with David Kidney MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Energy and Climate Change and Helen Goodman MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions.

Fuel Poverty is the overall responsibility for the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC). However, it is an important element in the delivery agreements for the Government's Public Service Agreements on Child Poverty (led by the Treasury), Later Life (led by the Department for Work and Pensions) and Health and Wellbeing (led by the Department of Health). Fuel poverty is a particular issue for some of the DWP's main customer groups: children; pensioners; and disabled people and their carers. The DECC also draws on the DWP's businesses for support, such as Jobcentre Plus and The Pension, Disability and Carers Service.

This evidence session aims to focus on:

€ How DECC measure/define fuel poverty;

€ Social tariffs, whether they are really a good deal and whether enough information is offered to consumers who might benefit from them, especially pensioners;

€ The significance of recent trends in fuel prices affecting numbers in fuel poverty (and how this has affected pensioners and other vulnerable groups in particular);

€ What DECC are doing to target pensioners and other vulnerable groups in improving domestic energy efficiency;

€ DWP's contribution to DECC's work (including data sharing with DECC and other Departments);

€ Cold Weather Payments;

€ Winter Fuel Payments;

€ DWP's work in connection with PSA 17; and

€ The impact of measures to combat fuel poverty on the child poverty targets.

The Committee seeks written contributions on this issue from interested organisations and individuals. The deadline for written evidence is 24 May 2009. The oral evidence session will take place on 24 June.

Please note:

Each submission should:

€ begin with a short summary in bullet point form;

€ have numbered paragraphs;

€ be in Word format with as little use of colour/logos as possible; and

€ be emailed to the Committee, where possible, including full details and postal address.

A guide for written submissions to Select Committees may be found on the parliamentary website at:

A copy of the submission should be emailed to and marked "Fuel Poverty".

Paper copies should be sent to: Hannah van Schijndel, Work and Pensions Select Committee, House of Commons, 7 Millbank, London, SW1P 3JA.

Material already published elsewhere should not form the basis of a submission, but may be referred to within a proposed memorandum, in which case a hard copy of the published work should be included.

Memoranda submitted must be kept confidential until published by the Committee, unless specifically authorised.