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21 July 2009 : Column 1636W—continued

Fuel Poverty

Mr. Caton: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps he plans to take to reduce fuel poverty if energy prices increase in winter 2009-10. [288079]

Mr. Kidney: Since 2000, we have spent £20 billion on fuel poverty benefits and programmes and we will continue to develop and implement a range of measures to tackle the drivers of fuel poverty, poor energy efficiency, low incomes and high energy prices.

The Government's Warm Front scheme has a budget of £950 million during 2008-11 for the installation of heating and insulation measures available to vulnerable householders in receipt of a qualifying disability or income related benefit. In addition, DECC has just laid in legislation a 20 per cent. increase to the carbon emissions reduction target which will lead to energy suppliers making available an estimated £3.2 billion during 2008-11, 40 per cent. of which must be targeted at a priority group of low income consumers who are in receipt of benefits or are aged 70 and over. In addition, last September, the Prime Minister announced the Community Energy Saving Programme. This will deliver £350 million of energy efficiency measures to around 90,000 homes in 100 low income areas across Great Britain over a three-year period.

To boost the income of vulnerable households, the increase in winter fuel payments, of an extra £50 for those aged 60-79 and £100 for those aged over 80, announced for the winter 2008-09, will continue for the coming winter.

On prices, under the voluntary agreement with suppliers, spend on programmes of social assistance, including discounted social tariffs, will be £125 million this year, rising to £150 million next year. We have also recently announced in the UK Low Carbon Transition Plan, the intention to create a policy of mandated social price support at the earliest opportunity with resources increased compared to the existing voluntary agreement.

Fuels: Power Stations

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what proportion of (a) oil, (b) gas, (c) coal and (d) uranium used in power plants came from (i) UK resources and (ii) imported fuels in the most recent year for which figures are available. [288565]

Mr. Kidney: The Department does not collect data on the source of fuels used in power plants. However, the following table shows, for oil, gas and coal, the proportions of total UK supply accounted for by imports (net of exports) and UK resources in 2008 and the proportion of total supply of each fuel used for electricity generation.

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The UK does not have exploitable natural uranium resources, therefore all natural uranium used for fuel in UK nuclear power stations is sourced overseas. Reprocessed uranium sourced from the Sellafield reprocessing plant has been processed into uranium for use as fuel. However, the Department does not hold data on the proportions of this used in power plants.

Oil (Thousand tonnes) Gas (GWh) Coal (Thousand tonnes)

Net imports




UK resources: production, stock changes and transfers




Total supply




Net imports proportion (percentage)




UK resources proportion (percentage)




Proportion of total supply used for electricity generation (percentage)




Source: Tables 2.1, 3.1, 3.2 and 4.1, in Energy Trends, June 2009, available at:

Gloucestershire Energy Strategy

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what progress has been made in implementing the Gloucestershire Energy Strategy; and what recent discussions his Department has had with those responsible for the strategy. [288080]

Mr. Kidney: Implementation of the Gloucestershire Energy Strategy is the responsibility of Gloucestershire county council. The Government Office for the South West (representing a number of Departments including DECC) have had several discussions with Gloucestershire county council and its partner organisations concerning the strategy and in particular its links with the Local Area Agreement which has a strong commitment to tackling climate change and fuel poverty.

Housing: Air Conditioning

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what information his Department collects on the number of homes in the UK which have domestic air conditioning installed; and in what proportion of homes it is estimated such systems will have been installed by (a) 2020, (b) 2030 and (c) 2050. [288812]

Joan Ruddock: The Government Market Transformation Programme estimates that less than 1 per cent. of UK homes (c125,000) currently have some form of air conditioning equipment, with the majority being portable rather than installed units.

We do not currently hold estimates of the number of air conditioning systems that we expect to see installed in UK homes in 2020, 2030 or 2050.

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Industrial Diseases: Nottinghamshire

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many cases of (a) chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and (b) vibration white finger there are in the post code area (i) NG20 and (ii) DN22. [288819]

Mr. Kidney: The following table provides the number of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Vibration White Finger (VWF) claims registered under the British Coal litigation schemes in the postcode areas of NG20 and DN22.

Claims registered (at 19 July 2009) in postcode areas NG20 and DN22

Registered claim count

Postcode District NG20







Postcode District DN22







Insulation: Housing

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what funding is available to local authorities for programmes for loft insulation (a) in (i) private and (ii) public residential housing and (b) for community buildings. [288081]

Joan Ruddock: No central Government funding is provided to local authorities for loft insulation programmes in social housing. However, local authorities can use money provided through the major repairs allowance in the Housing Revenue Account Subsidy System and Supported Capital Expenditure for the Decent Homes Programme to install loft insulation in council owned homes. Local authorities also work with energy suppliers under the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) to identify homes that could benefit from measures under this scheme.

For private sector homes, Government have invested over £1 billion between 2008-09 and 2010-11 to help improve private sector housing for the most vulnerable. Allocations are paid to local authorities through the Regional Housing Pot as un-ring-fenced capital grants based on recommendations made by the Regional Housing Boards. In addition to tackling disrepair, the funds are often used to assist in the provision of energy efficiency measures.

No central Government funding is provided to local authorities for insulating the lofts of community buildings. However, loft insulation is a relatively low-cost measure that provides substantial energy savings, so local authorities should expect a short payback period for their investment.

Liquefied Petroleum Gas

Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the likely effect of the UK Low
21 July 2009 : Column 1639W
Carbon Transition Plan on families who use liquefied petroleum gas as a heating fuel; and if he will make a statement. [288415]

Mr. Kidney [holding answer 20 July 2009]: The UK Low Carbon Transition Plan is a route map to a low carbon economy setting out the instruments the UK will use to meet its carbon budgets. This together with the Renewable Energy Strategy published at the same time also sets out how the UK will meet its target that 15 per cent. of energy should come from renewable resources by 2020.

This will mean a transition over time from fossil fuels to renewable fuels for heating, supported by the introduction of the Renewable Heat Incentive from April 2011. LPG is a fossil fuel form of heating, often used in communities off the gas grid. We envisage that many families in rural communities will use the Renewable Heat Incentive and other schemes to switch to renewable and low carbon ways to heat their homes.

Low Carbon Buildings Programme

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much of the £45 million announced in Budget 2009 for the Low Carbon Buildings Programme is projected to be spent in 2009-10. [288718]

Mr. Kidney: £30 million of the £45 million announced in Budget 2009 for the Low Carbon Buildings Programme is projected to be spent in 2009-10.

Low Carbon Energy

Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change with reference to paragraph 7.28 of Budget 2009, how the £155 million of funding allocated to his Department for low-carbon energy and green manufacturing will be spent. [285032]

Joan Ruddock: The funding will deliver targeted support for sectors with high growth rate potential such as offshore wind, wave and tidal energy, and remove barriers to low carbon investment in the UK. The funding will also support innovative trialling of technologies in local community-based settings.

Spending allocation decisions taken so far by Ministers total up to £81.2 million and comprise:

The Energy White Paper and Low Carbon Industrial Strategy has more detail on these allocations.

Further announcements on projects and sectors to be funded will be made over the coming months. Where it is possible to bid for elements of funding, the process for doing so will be made clear when funding is announced.

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National Decommissioning Authority: Finance

Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much and what proportion of the National Decommissioning Authority's budget has been spent on funding university research in each of the last 10 years; on what research projects this funding has been spent; and if he will make a statement. [286484]

Mr. Kidney: Funding for university research in support of its core mission to decommission and clean up the nuclear legacy is a key part of the NDA's skills strategy. During financial year 2008-09, the NDA spent approximately £1.4 million on supporting university research through its Direct Research Portfolio and the Radioactive Waste Management Directorate (RWMD). Funding in previous years was not broken down so as to differentiate between university and other research but is estimated to have been in the order of around £1 million in each year. The NDA has also made a commitment of £10 million to support the establishment of the Dalton Cumbria facility, a joint venture with the university of Manchester which will see the establishment of a world-class research centre specialising in radiation science and nuclear engineering decommissioning.

Nuclear Power

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when he plans to answer Question 280802, tabled on 16 June 2009, on coolant leaks and fires at UK nuclear installations. [288750]

Mr. Kidney: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 20 July 2009, Official Report, columns 1023-29W.

Nuclear Power Stations: Decommissioning

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the (a) cost to date and (b) future cost to the public purse of decommissioning nuclear power stations; and if he will make a statement. [288421]

Mr. Kidney: The lifetime costs of decommissioning and cleaning up the fleet of Magnox nuclear power stations, only two of which are still operational, are set out in the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority's annual report and accounts 2008-09 published on 20 July 2009. The total discounted cost is estimated to be £9,233 million.

The Nuclear Liabilities Fund (NLF) is responsible for meeting the decommissioning cost of British Energy's existing nuclear power stations, together with defuelling costs and certain British Energy uncontracted liabilities. As at 31 March 2009, the total discounted cost (at a rate of 2.2 per cent.) of the NLF's future liability is estimated to be £4,500 million.

Any developers of new nuclear power stations will be obliged to meet the full costs of decommissioning and their full share of waste management and disposal costs.

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Nuclear Power Stations: Pollution

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much in fines the Nuclear Inspectorate has imposed on (a) companies, (b) local authorities and (c) individuals in respect of each type of pollution incident in each region in each year since 1997. [288465]

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Mr. Kidney: The Health and Safety Executive's Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NII) does not impose fines directly. It may prosecute duty holders for breaches of health and safety law. If found guilty those duty holders may have fines imposed on them by the courts. In the following cases heard for breaches of health and safety law since 1997 fines were imposed after prosecutions were instigated by the NII. In all cases the fines were imposed on companies.

Date of hearing Name of defendant Fine imposed (£) Costs awarded against defendant (£)

25 November 1999

British Energy



27 July 2000

Magnox Electric Ltd.



18 January 2002




18 January 2002

AEA Technology plc



6 March 2002

British Nuclear Fuels plc



16 October 2006

British Nuclear Group Sellafield Ltd.



12 July 2007




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