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8 July 2008 : Column 1493W—continued

Renewable Energy: Nuclear Power

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what proportion of the planned increase in renewable energy by 2020 will be from nuclear sources. [215709]

Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 2 July 2008]: None. Nuclear and renewables should both be part of the low carbon energy mix the UK needs. But nuclear is not itself a renewable source of energy.

Renewable Energy: Seas and Oceans

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what proposals he is (a) considering and (b) implementing on electricity generation from marine sources. [215447]

Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 2 July 2008]: The Renewable Energy Strategy public consultation

launched on 26 June invites interested stakeholders and individuals to submit their ideas and views on the best and most cost-effective way of achieving greater use of renewable energy. Marine technologies, both wave and tidal, form part of this consultation as we look to the role renewable energy will play in the future. We are liaising with key stakeholders in marine technologies during the consultation and will take account of their input as we develop our Renewables Energy Strategy.

On more specific considerations, we are currently conducting a two-year feasibility study on whether the Government could support a tidal power project in the Severn estuary and on what terms. The study will assess
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in broad terms the cost, benefits and impact of a project including environmental, social, regional, economic and energy market impacts.

We are banding the Renewables Obligation to provide more support for technologies which are further from commercial deployment and this Department has recently launched a consultation

on its implementation. This will include providing wave and tidal technologies with 2 ROCs per MWh.

This is in addition to our initiatives to support R and D through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council's ‘Supergen Marine’ consortium, the Technology Strategy Board, the Energy Technologies Institute and the Marine Renewables Deployment Fund demonstration scheme.

Recently the Secretary of State granted consent to the South West RDA for wave hub, off North Cornwall—a 20MW capacity wave energy testing facility and to Pulse Tidal Limited for Pulse Tidal Generation device at Upper Burcom in the River Humber—a 0.15MW pre-commercial tidal stream generator device.

Roads: Lighting

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what plans he has to amend the regulatory regime affecting connections to electricity supplies for lighting public places and street lighting. [215434]

Malcolm Wicks: Regulation of electricity connections falls to Ofgem.

Ofgem has reviewed competition in connections (2006-07) and the review included discussion of measures to open up competition in relation to un-metered connections

Ofgem also continues to work closely with distribution network operators (DNOs) and local authorities to improve the performance of DNOs in relation to a number of street lighting services. This includes the introduction of minimum performance levels in relation to certain un-metered street lighting services (fault repairs; new works; providing quotations).

Utilities: Billing

Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many representations his Department has received opposing surcharges imposed by utilities companies on customers who choose not to pay bills by direct debit. [212638]

Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 20 June 2008]: This Department has identified about 50 representations to Ministers on the issue of surcharges added to the bills of customers of communications companies who pay by means other than direct debit.


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Communities and Local Government

Council Tax: Pensioners

Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the number of (a) single pensioners and (b) pensioner couples who lived in homes in each council tax band on the latest date for which figures are available. [215833]

Mr. Watson: I have been asked to reply.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 8 July 2008:


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Number of retired households( 1) by Council Tax band, and country( 2) —2004/05 to 2006/07
Thousand
Type of retired household

Single adult Two or more adults All retired households

England

Band A

835

403

1,238

Band B

648

412

1,060

Band C

552

527

1,079

Band D

467

575

1,042

Band E

195

369

563

Band F

90

200

290

Band G

48

154

203

Band H

8

14

21

Total

2,843

2,653

5,496

Scotland

Band A

94

44

139

Band B

71

66

137

Band C

35

37

72

Band D

35

47

82

Band E

34

39

73

Band F

13

35

48

Band G

9

21

30

Band H

1

3

4

Total

293

292

585

Wales( 3)

Band A

41

15

56

Band B

48

27

75

Band C

38

31

69

Band D

43

41

84

Band E

13

21

34

Band F

8

10

18

Band G

2

9

12

Band H

1

2

3

Total

196

156

351

(1) A retired household is defined as a household where the income of all the retired members accounts for more than 50 per cent. of the total household income.
(2) These estimates are based on the Expenditure and Food Survey, which uses a sample of households, and therefore the number of households in each Council Tax band will not be strictly consistent with the figures based on the Valuation Office Agency valuation list.
(3) Data for Council Tax band T, the highest band which is used in Wales only, are unavailable.
Source:
Expenditure and Food Survey, Office for National Statistics

Council Tax: Tax Rates and Bands

Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the number of households in each household income group who lived in homes in each council tax valuation band on the latest date for which figures are available. [215830]

Mr. Watson: I have been asked to reply.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 8 July 2008:


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