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Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what change in average Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) ratings of (a) all and (b) new-build housing stock in England has been achieved in each SAP band A to G in each year since 2005; what assessment he has made of how the actual energy rating of new-build houses corresponds with that predicted by their developers; what representations he has received on the post-build level of energy efficiency in new-build houses; and if he will make a statement. 
The English House Condition Survey reports annually on the energy efficiency of the housing stock as a whole. The proportion of housing in England in each energy efficiency rating band between 2005 and 2007 (the latest estimates available) are set out in the following table.
|Housing stock (England) by energy efficiency rating band, 2005 to 2007|
|Band A/B||Band C||Band D||Band E||Band F||Band G|
The rating bands are based on the energy efficiency (SAP) rating with band A indicating the most efficient and band G the least efficient housing. The number of dwellings in band A is too small for the sample survey to provide a robust estimate and therefore bands A and B have been combined.
English House Condition Survey.
The proportion of housing in more energy efficient bands A to D increased from 35 per cent. to 41 per cent. of the whole stock over this period. Over the same period, the proportion in the less efficient bands F and G fell from 24 per cent. to 19 per cent.
The Department recently completed a joint project with the Energy Efficiency Partnership for Homes (EEPfH) looking at compliance levels for new homes built to the standards required by the 2006 amendment of Part L (Conservation of fuel and power) of the Building Regulations. Two reports have been published at the EEPfH website at
Nadine Dorries: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many households in (a) Mid Bedfordshire constituency, (b) Bedfordshire, (c) the East of England and (d) England are living in fuel poverty. 
Mr. Kidney: The most recently available sub-regional split of fuel poverty relates to 2006, and shows that there were around 2,900 fuel poor households in the Mid-Bedfordshire constituency and around 12,500 fuel poor households in Bedfordshire.
More recent figures are available for England and the regions. These show that in 2007, there were around 253,000 fuel poor households in the east of England and 2.8 million fuel poor households in England.
Underground storage of hydrogen in geologically suitable sites could provide a useful buffering capacity to enable supply to be matched to demand. Such a situation could arise if the UK were to achieve a high market penetration of fuel cell powered vehicles, but this is not expected to occur until 2020 or later. Hydrogen is in widespread use in oil refineries and as an industrial chemical. Hydrogen has been stored successfully in salt caverns in Teesside to meet the demands of the petrochemical industry.
Joan Ruddock: The Low Carbon Buildings Programme (LCBP) is our £131 million grant programme offering funding for small scale onsite energy technologies to householders, public, community and not-for profit-sectors.
Phase 1 (currently open to householders) was recently extended from 1 July 2010 until March 2011 with an additional budget of £1 million for 2009-10 and £5 million for 2010-11. To date Phase 1 of the programme has committed £24.6 million to 12,175 projects.
Phase 2 of the programme (community, public/non profit sector)-has already allocated over £62 million to 2,851 projects. This part of the programme was also extended from 1 July 2009 until 30 March 2011 with a budget of £39 million for 2009-10 and £10 million for 2010-11. The extension will continue to provide grant funding to charitable, community groups and public sector organisation projects.
Working with the Energy Saving Trust (EST) we are publicising the Phase 1 householder funding stream through a network of local energy advice centres providing information and the Act on CO2 website and helpline to inform and assist consumers.
We will shortly be implementing a promotional campaign for Phase 2 through a series of 'road shows' and presentations in all English regions, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland-raising awareness of the fact that organisations can apply for 50 per cent. of the cost for installing approved technologies up to a maximum of £200,000 per application. We hope to see as many projects as possible coming forward to achieve their ambitions and install small scale onsite technologies.
Planning regulations for domestic small scale renewable energy installations which have little or no impact beyond the host property have been relaxed and we have introduced the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) providing improved consumer confidence in the quality and reliability of microgeneration products and installations.
We have enhanced incentives to install microgeneration technologies with increased support through the Renewables Obligation (which places an obligation on UK suppliers of electricity to source an increasing proportion of their electricity from renewable sources). Going forward, two new financial incentives will have a real impact on pushing small scale onsite energy technologies into the forefront of our energy future. Feed-in tariffs for electricity will act as a major incentive for the development of the market up to 5 MW, and we are working to have feed-in tariffs in place in April 2010.
Our Renewable Heat Incentive or payments for every kilowatt of renewable heat produced will be one of the world's first financial mechanisms to support renewable
heat technologies. Like the feed-in tariffs, our aim is to make the RHI as accessible, flexible and user-friendly as possible to potential investors in renewable heat at all scales, from the household scale up to the large industrial scale.
Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will make it his policy to (a) estimate the level of profits made by gas companies which do not adjust their charges in line with a reduction in energy prices and (b) assess the effects on consumers of the practices of such companies. 
Mr. Kidney: Energy suppliers often buy gas and electricity many months in advance in order to protect from short-term fluctuations in wholesale costs. This generally results in a time lag between wholesale and retail price movements. In response to a request from the Government, the regulator Ofgem now reports on a quarterly basis on movements in wholesale costs, suppliers' margins and retail prices. This is leading to a greater transparency in the relationship between these factors. Ofgem is also responsible for monitoring and promoting competition in these markets.
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what discussions he has had with each company which has expressed an interest in building new nuclear power plants on (a) setting a floor price for carbon, (b) updating insurance arrangements for new-build reactors and (c) the financing of radioactive waste management and decommissioning of new nuclear power plants in the last 12 months; and if he will publish the minutes of each meeting with each such company. 
Mr. Kidney: Ministers meet regularly with a range of energy companies and other organisations, and discuss a large number of issues, including issues related to new nuclear power stations. Ministers will continue to do so in the future.
Dr. Whitehead: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many tonnes of oil were burned to produce electricity in oil-fired power stations in the UK in (a) 2005, (b) 2006, (c) 2007 and (d) 2008. 
|Oil used by major power producers||Oil used by other generators||Total oil used in generation|
| Note: This also includes oil used in power stations where co-fired with coal, gas and biomass. Source: Digest of UK Energy Statistics, 2009, Table 5.4, available at: http://decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/stallstics/source/electricity/electricity.aspx|
Dr. Whitehead: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many kilowatt hours of electricity were produced via oil-fired power stations produced in (a) 2005, (b) 2006, (c) 2007 and (d) 2008. 
|Major power producers||Other generators||Total oil-fired generation|
| Note: This also includes oil's share of generation when co-fired with other fuels. Source: Digest of UK Energy Statistics, 2009, Table 5.6, available at: http://decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/statistics/source/electricity/electricity.aspx|
Mr. Kidney [holding answer 26 October 2009]: The analysis underpinning Renewable Energy Strategy, published in July 2009, used assumptions on the generating costs of different electricity generating technologies to 2020, full details of which are set out in Element (2009) and Redpoint/Trilemma (2009), which are available on the DECC website. The following table summarises these assumptions with respect to solar photovoltaic and wind generation in 2009.
|Technology (source)||Capital expenditure (£/kW)||Operating expenditure (£/kW/year)||Load factor (percentage)||Technology life (years)|
Each unit of energy from new wind and photovoltaic installations are assumed to replace an equivalent supply of conventional electricity generation. The conventional electricity would be produced at a lower generation cost, and wind and photovoltaic generation thus impose a resource cost on the UK economy.
However, both wind and photovoltaic generation involve very low level of carbon dioxide emissions over their lifetimes. By replacing conventional electricity generation, wind and photovoltaics reduce the carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity sector, and thus a unit of energy from either creates the same carbon-related benefits through reducing the number of EU Allowances for greenhouse gas emissions the UK electricity sector has to buy within the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (or increasing the number to sell). Other costs and benefits of renewables deployment, such as those relating to security of supply and the wider economy, are considered in the impact assessment for the Renewable Energy Strategy.
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