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|Full-time equivalent( 2)|
|Responsibility level( 1)||Male||Female||Total||Percentage female staff|
|(1) This table shows staff in their substantive responsibility level, and therefore ignores the effect of temporary promotions. (2) Part-time staff are recorded according to the proportion of full-time hours worked.|
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the (a) mean and (b) median household (i) gas and (ii) electricity bill was in the last period for which figures are available; and if he will estimate the bill paid at each decile of income distribution in each case. 
Malcolm Wicks: The Expenditure and Food Survey conducted by the Office for National Statistics showed that in 2004-05 the mean amount spent on gas was £287 per annum, while the mean amount spent on electricity was £313.
|Annual spend on fuel according to position in spend decile (2004-05)|
|Decile (top of):||Gas||Electricity|
| Source: Office for National Statistics|
|Annual spend on fuel per income decile( 1)|
|(1) Source: Family Spending: A Report on the 2004-05 Expenditure and Food Survey (ONS: 2005)|
Malcolm Wicks: Responsibility for tackling fuel poverty in England is shared between the Department of Trade and Industry, and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Following the Energy Review, we will be taking forward work with energy suppliers and other key players to examine how the continuing challenge of fuel poverty can be best addressed. The Energy Review also commits us to looking hard at how we can maximise the contribution made by our existing schemes. The Department of Trade and Industry will play an important role in this analysis.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs leads on the Warm Front scheme in England. The Warm Front scheme has resulted in improvements to the energy efficiency of the housing of those on a range of qualifying benefits and has provided assistance to over a million vulnerable households since 2000.
The Department of Trade and Industry itself has a number of policies to tackle the issue of fuel poverty. It has liaised closely with energy suppliers on the development of the Home Heat Helpline, which provides vulnerable customers and their representatives with a central point of information relating to the help available from their energy supplier and Government. It has encouraged the introduction of social tariffs and price freezes for fuel poor and low income customers.
The Department's Design and Demonstration Unit is a team of private sector secondees that works in support of Energy White Paper objectives. As part of the Unit's work, it has designed and delivered projects to provide gas connections to deprived communities, and it is now developing community projects utilising renewable technologies.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what his estimate is of the difference in the average price of a litre of petrol in rural and non-rural areas in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. 
Malcolm Wicks: I am not aware of any data source that provides information on rural and non-rural petrol prices. There is anecdotal evidence that petrol prices in rural areas are likely to be higher than non-rural areas.
Fuel throughput, in that the higher the throughput the lower the retail margin required to give a return on the investment. Rural garages are likely to have lower throughputs.
Bulk delivery charges, many sites have relatively small storage tanks since they are cheaper to install. However, they require more frequent replenishment and this results in some sites paying higher delivery charges. Again smaller tanks are likely to be more prevalent is smaller, rural petrol stations.
Competition; large, particularly supermarket sites in close proximity to one another in urban areas do tend to lead to lower prices.
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