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Fuel Poverty (No. 2) Bill


Fuel Poverty (No. 2) Bill

1

 

A

Bill

To

Make further provision about fuel poverty; and for connected purposes.                                  

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and

consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present

Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1       

Purpose

The purpose of this Act is to promote the eradication of fuel poverty by

increasing the energy efficiency of domestic premises.

2       

 The target for 2016

(1)   

It is the duty of the Secretary of State to ensure that the number of households

5

specified in subsection 6(2)(a) as being in fuel poverty are offered a package of

energy efficiency and other measures based upon a “whole house approach”,

as defined in section 3, by the end of 2016 (“the principal duty”).

(2)   

Where an offer made pursuant to subsection (1) has been made and accepted—

(a)   

if the acceptance was before 31 December 2015, the date by which the

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works must be completed (“the implementation date”) shall be 31

December 2016; and

(b)   

if the acceptance was after 31 December 2015, the implementation date

shall be 31 December 2017.

(3)   

The Secretary of State must take all reasonable steps to ensure that the offers

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made pursuant to subsection (1) are made to households in fuel poverty.

3       

“Whole house approach”

(1)   

A “whole house approach” is an approach as defined by this section.

(2)   

A “whole house approach”—

(a)   

must include an offer made directly to households in fuel poverty;

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(b)   

must, together with any measures taken or proposed to be taken

pursuant to any existing scheme to combat fuel poverty, increase

 

Bill 110                                                                                                

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Fuel Poverty (No. 2) Bill

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energy efficiency in the household in accordance with the purpose of

this Act;

(c)   

may, before being finalised, take into account the effects on a particular

household of any measures taken or proposed to be taken pursuant to

any existing scheme to combat fuel poverty;

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(d)   

must consider a householder’s energy needs and carbon dioxide

impacts as a whole and establish a package of measures to address

them;

(e)   

must include all measures available at the time of assessment that the

Secretary of State considers suitable for the property, and

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(i)   

which pay back through fuel bill savings over the lifetime of the

package offered, and

(ii)   

which are necessary to remove that household from fuel

poverty or to ensure that the property reaches Energy

Performance Certificate band C;

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(f)   

must identify all relevant cost-effective measures;

(g)   

must be tailored for each property; and

(h)   

must incur no installation cost to any householder.

(3)   

In this section, measures include—

(a)   

steps to increase the energy efficiency of premises,

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(b)   

microgeneration as defined by the Energy Act 2004 (c. 20),

(c)   

renewable energy measures, and

(d)   

district heating,

   

where applicable to a property.

(4)   

In meeting his obligations under section 2, the Secretary of State must ensure

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that any measures taken or proposed to be taken pursuant to any scheme to

combat fuel poverty referred to in subsection (2) shall be organised in such a

way as to achieve the most cost-effective way that is reasonably practicable.

4       

Amendment of 2016 target

(1)   

The Secretary of State may by order amend the implementation date specified

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in section 2(2).

(2)   

The power in subsection (1) may only be exercised—

(a)   

if it appears, in the opinion of the Secretary of State, that there have

been significant and unforeseen changes in—

(i)   

energy prices,

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(ii)   

the economy of the United Kingdom, or

(iii)   

the number of people who are unemployed and living in fuel

poverty.

(3)   

An order under this section may not be made unless a draft of the statutory

instrument containing it as been laid before Parliament and approved by a

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resolution of each House of Parliament.

5       

Procedure and consultation on order amending 2016 target

(1)   

Before laying before Parliament a draft of a statutory instrument containing an

order under section 4 (amendment of 2016 target), the Secretary of State must—

 
 

Fuel Poverty (No. 2) Bill

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(a)   

consult and have regard to the views of any advisory body that he has

established for the purposes of tackling fuel poverty,

(b)   

take into account any representation made by other persons with

expertise in tackling fuel poverty,

(c)   

make a motion in both Houses of Parliament proposing the changes to

5

the target that are proposed to be made, and

(d)   

publish a statement giving his reasons for those changes.

(2)   

At the same time as laying such a draft statutory instrument before Parliament,

the Secretary of State must publish a statement setting out how he has

considered any views and representations made to him pursuant to

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paragraphs (1)(a) and (b).

(3)   

The Secretary of State must, when laying a draft statutory instrument under

section 4, comply with any decision made by both Houses of Parliament

pursuant to subsection (1)(c).

6       

 The Fuel Poverty Strategy

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(1)   

The Secretary of State must, not later than twelve months after the coming into

force of this Act, publish a document containing plans, policies and proposed

measures (referred to in this Act as the “Fuel Poverty Strategy”) that will be

used to meet the principal duty in section 2(1).

(2)   

The Fuel Poverty Strategy must—

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(a)   

include an assessment of the number of properties in England

inhabited by households in fuel poverty on 31 December 2008;

(b)   

explain how each of the plans, policies and proposed measures in the

Fuel Poverty Strategy will contribute to meeting the principal duty;

(c)   

include the estimated cost of each of the plans, policies and proposed

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measures, together with details in each case of the funding sources for

those policies;

(d)   

state which person or persons are responsible for delivery of each of the

plans, policies and proposed measures contained in the Fuel Poverty

Strategy.

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(3)   

The Fuel Poverty Strategy must include—

(a)   

policies to promote energy efficiency measures and the use of

microgeneration installations and locally supplied sustainable energy

in existing buildings;

(b)   

proposals for financial and fiscal measures to promote energy efficiency,

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microgeneration and locally supplied sustainable energy;

(c)   

such new functions for the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority as in

the opinion of the Secretary of State will assist in meeting the principal

duty; and

(d)   

such other plans, policies and measures as the Secretary of State

40

considers appropriate.

(4)   

The Fuel Poverty Strategy must specify the number of existing properties that

are intended to be made fuel poverty-proof in each calendar year until 31

December 2016.

(5)   

The Secretary of State shall take such steps as are necessary to implement the

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Fuel Poverty Strategy.

 
 

Fuel Poverty (No. 2) Bill

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7       

 Fuel poverty annual report

(1)   

In accordance with the provisions of this section the Secretary of State must

publish an annual report on progress towards fulfilling his duties under this

Act (a “Fuel Poverty Annual Report”).

(2)   

The first Fuel Poverty Annual Report must be published within 12 months of

5

the publication of the Fuel Poverty Strategy and thereafter a further Fuel

Poverty Annual Report must be published once each calendar year until 2017.

(3)   

A Fuel Poverty Annual Report must—

(a)   

include details of measures taken in the reporting year in pursuance of

the Fuel Poverty Strategy;

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(b)   

include an assessment of whether the Secretary of State considers that

adequate progress is being made towards securing compliance with the

principal duty and the duty under section 6(5) (the duty to implement

the Fuel Poverty Strategy);

(c)   

state the number of existing properties made fuel poverty-proof in the

15

reporting year;

(d)   

contain an assessment of the number of existing properties in England

inhabited by households in fuel poverty on 31 December in the

reporting year;

(e)   

contain an estimate of the number of existing properties in England that

20

are likely to be inhabited by households in fuel poverty on 31 December

in each subsequent year to 2020.

(4)   

A Fuel Poverty Annual Report may contain such other information about

measures, plans, policies and proposals under this Act as the Secretary of State

considers appropriate.

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(5)   

In this section “the reporting year” shall be the calendar year ending on 31

December in the year prior to the date of publication of the relevant Fuel

Poverty Annual Report.

8       

 Changes in the number of properties to be made fuel poverty-proof under the

principal duty

30

(1)   

Subject to the further provisions of this section, where an assessment made

pursuant to section 7(3)(d) concludes that a greater number of households is in

fuel poverty than was specified in the Fuel Poverty Strategy, the principal duty

shall, subject to subsection (2), thereafter be deemed to apply to that latest

assessment.

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(2)   

This subsection applies where the number specified in section 7(3)(d) in the

Fuel Poverty Annual Report published in 2016 exceeds the number to which

the principal duty previously applied by an amount such that in the opinion of

the Secretary of State it is not reasonably practicable to comply with the

principal duty by 31 December 2016 in respect of those additional properties.

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(3)   

Where subsection (2) applies—

(a)   

the principal duty shall apply in respect of the number of properties

which was subject to that duty prior to the publication of the 2016 Fuel

Poverty Annual Report; and

(b)   

the Secretary of State shall seek to ensure that at least the number of

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additional properties under subsection (2) shall be offered a package of

 
 

Fuel Poverty (No. 2) Bill

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energy efficiency and other measures in accordance with section 2(1) by

31 December 2017.

9       

 Duty to fuel poverty-proof the homes of the fuel poor

(1)   

In exercising any of his functions under this Act the Secretary of State shall act

in accordance with the purpose of this Act.

5

(2)   

The Secretary of State shall take all practicable measures to ensure that as many

as possible of the properties that are made fuel poverty-proof under this Act

are properties that are occupied by persons in fuel poverty.

10      

 Revision of the Fuel Poverty Strategy

(1)   

Where at any date prior to 1 January 2016 one or both of the conditions in

10

subsection (2) applies, the Secretary of State must revise the Fuel Poverty

Strategy.

(2)   

The conditions referred to in subsection (1) are—

(a)   

that in any Fuel Poverty Annual Report the Secretary of State reports

that inadequate progress is being made towards securing compliance

15

with the principal duty; or

(b)   

that the number of properties reported in a Fuel Poverty Annual Report

to have been made fuel poverty-proof in the reportable year is less than

the number of properties required to have be made fuel poverty proof

under section 6(4).

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(3)   

The Secretary of State may amend and publish the Fuel Poverty Strategy at any

time if, in his opinion, it is necessary or desirable to do so in order to ensure

that the principal duty or the duty to implement the Fuel Poverty Strategy

under section 6(5) is met.

(4)   

The duty under section 6(5) shall apply to any revised strategy in the same way

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as it applies to the Fuel Poverty Strategy as originally published.

11      

 Duty to consult and try to reach agreement

(1)   

Before carrying out any of the specified acts the Secretary of State must consult

and try to reach agreement on the matter under consultation with—

(a)   

organisations representing the interests of persons living in fuel

30

poverty;

(b)   

organisations representing environmental interests; and

(c)   

organisations representing business interests.

(2)   

In subsection (1) the specified acts are—

(a)   

the publication of the Fuel Poverty Strategy;

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(b)   

the publication of any revision to the Fuel Poverty Strategy;

(c)   

making regulations under section 12 (energy assistance packages).

12      

 Energy assistance packages

(1)   

The Secretary of State shall, within six months of the commencement of this

Act, make regulations prescribing that energy suppliers of one or more

40

specified descriptions shall be required to provide energy assistance packages

to such of their customers as are prescribed in the regulations.

 
 

Fuel Poverty (No. 2) Bill

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(2)   

Regulations made under this section shall prescribe—

(a)   

those energy suppliers to which the regulations shall apply

(“prescribed suppliers”); and

(b)   

those persons who shall be eligible for energy assistance packages

(“prescribed customers”).

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(3)   

Energy assistance packages provided for by regulations under this section

shall, as a minimum, require prescribed suppliers to supply energy to all of

their prescribed customers at a tariff that is lower than any other tariff available

to other customers of that supplier until such time as their homes have been

made fuel poverty proof.

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(4)   

The Secretary of State shall consult the Welsh Ministers and the Scottish

Ministers on the application of this section to gas and electricity customers in

Wales and Scotland.

13      

Expenses

There shall be paid out of money provided by Parliament

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(a)   

any expenditure incurred under or by virtue of this Act by the Secretary of

State, and

(b)   

any increase attributable to this Act in the sums payable under any other Act

out of money so provided.

14      

Interpretation

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In this Act—

(a)   

“energy performance certificate” has the same meaning as under the

Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections)

(England and Wales) Regulations 2007 (SI 2007/991).

(b)   

A reference to an energy performance certificate being graded at “Band

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A” or “Band B” or “Band C” is a reference to the expression on a

graphical scale of the energy performance of the property under

Regulation 11 of the 2007 Regulations in a manner approved by the

Secretary of State under regulation 17A of the Building Regulations

2000 (SI 2000/2531).

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(c)   

A “household in fuel poverty” is a household that would need to spend

at least 10 per cent of its disposable income on all fuel use in order to

achieve a temperature of 21oC in the living room or main living area

and 18oC in all other rooms for at least 16 hours a day.

(d)   

“sustainable energy” means those sources of energy and technologies

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set out in section 26(2) of the Climate Change and Sustainable Energy

Act 2006 (c. 19).

15      

 Short title and extent

(1)   

This Act may be cited as the Fuel Poverty Act 2009.

(2)   

Subject to subsection (3), this Act extends to England only.

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(3)   

Section 12 (energy assistance packages) extends to England and Wales and

Scotland.

 
 

 
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