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show the number of households containing somebody who is disabled or long-term. These show that in England in 2006, there were around 915,000 fuel-poor households containing somebody who was disabled or long-term sick, however this number does not show how many of these households may contain someone who suffers from cancer.
In respect of social tariffs, suppliers do not record information regarding customers who may suffer from cancer. A number of them do, however, work with voluntary organisations, such as Macmillan Cancer Support, to identify those most vulnerable to fuel poverty.
Mr. Mike O'Brien: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, has met with major energy suppliers and has strongly encouraged them to lower prices to consumers as a matter of urgency. Wholesale gas prices peaked last summer and have now fallen, though not back to 2007 levels. It is important that consumers begin to see the benefits of those lower wholesale prices, and that people can have confidence that they are being treated fairly by suppliers.
Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the proportion of UK energy demand that was met from fossil fuel sources in each year since 1990. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The following table shows the proportion of UK energy demand met from fossil fuel sources (coal, petroleum and gas). Data are derived from table 1.1.1 of the internet annex to the Digest of United Kingdom Energy Statistics (DUKES) 2008.
|Fossil fuel use (Percentage)|
Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (1) what estimate he has made of (a) the number of people benefiting from and (b) the average benefit received from each social tariff scheme operated by energy supply companies in the UK; 
(2) with reference to the answer of 24 November 2008, Official Report, column 1144W, on energy supply: fuel poverty, when he expects Ofgem to publish its report on the social programmes undertaken by energy supply companies. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: Ofgem published its first Review of Suppliers Voluntary Initiatives to Help Vulnerable Customers on 6 August 2007, which covered the period to July 2007. Ofgem updated this report in October 2007. Both reports can be found online at:
The October update report shows that the number of gas and electricity customer accounts benefiting from each social tariff scheme and the average benefit received from each social tariff scheme was as follows:
|As at 31 August 2007|
|Supplier||Tariff name||Customer accounts on tariff||Total savings ( £ million)||Average saving per customer account ( £ )|
Following the announcement in Budget 2008, energy suppliers agreed to increase the amount they spend on social programmes. This year they will be spending collectively £100 million, rising to £125 million in 2009-10 and £150 million in 2010-11. Suppliers have only provided forecast numbers for the first time for 2008, which show that around 600,000 customer accounts are expected to be on social tariffs this winter. The actual number of customer accounts on social tariffs during the first year of the voluntary agreement and the benefit per customer account will be published in Ofgems next reporting cycle in 2009.
Mr. Kemp: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many claims for (a) miners hearing loss, (b) vibration white finger and (c) chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were paid to residents of Houghton and Washington East constituency in each of the last six years. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The number of payments made for noise induced hearing loss (NIHL), vibration white finger (VWF) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in Houghton and Washington East constituency as at 18 January 2009 is shown in the following table:
|Number of payments made|
Mr. McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many claims for compensation for respiratory disease brought under the Coal Health Compensation Scheme have been settled under the fast track procedure (a) by way of expedited payment and (b) under the live optional risk scheme since 1 January 2004 in which Avalon Solicitors, Warrington, have been the claimant's representatives in each parliamentary constituency in respect of which legal proceedings have been concluded. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: I am today placing in the Libraries of the House a table indicating how each of the settled claims for which Avalon Solicitors have been the claimant's representatives, were concluded, broken down by parliamentary constituency.
Mr. Mike O'Brien [holding answer 29 January 2009]: In February 2006, my right hon. Friend the Member for Croydon, North (Malcolm Wicks) as Minister responsible, undertook to look at any generic lessons that arise from the conclusion of a trial of a sample of test cases. Following a court order agreed in July 2007 this cohort of surface workers has now been narrowed to around 5,800 claims identified by solicitors of men who worked in Coal Preparation Plants (CPP) on the surface.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will take steps to recover from Jim Beresford and Douglas Smith of Beresfords Solicitors the monies they accrued improperly in processing personal injury claims under the Coal Health Compensation scheme; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien:
Ministers have consistently demanded that solicitors who have unfairly taken a proportion of miners compensation repay the money. However, the issue of solicitor conduct is a matter for the Law Society and I welcome the progress being made by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) in investigating these cases. Once the detailed ruling of the SDT hearing into Jim Beresford and Douglas Smith is published, the Department will consider the issue further. The Ministry of Justice
has helped to coordinate action to address this abuse and has taken action to ensure quicker redress of complaints in the future.
Both DECC and the Ministry of Justice continue to support the Legal Complaints Service in their programme to highlight the issue with coal health compensation claimants and Ministers will be meeting the Legal Complaints Service and the Solicitor Regulation Authority in March to review their progress on this important issue.
Dan Norris: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much compensation for (a) respiratory disease and (b) vibration white finger has been paid in total to former miners in Wansdyke constituency. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The total amount of damages paid to former miners or their families for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is £4.2 million; and for vibration white finger is £8,550 in Wansdyke constituency as at 22 January 2009.
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what venues were used as health testing centres by his Department for the administration of medical tests under the coal health compensation scheme; and at what cost to his Department such venues were used. 
the total medical costs for chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease are £404.64 million; and for vibration white finger are £34.95 million as at December 2008. We are unable to breakdown these figures by medical test centres.
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