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15 Dec 2009 : Column 1120Wcontinued
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many visitors have visited the Act on CO2 website. 
Joan Ruddock: From 17 September 2008 to 3 December 2009 there have been 1,106,253 unique visitors to the ACT ON CO2 website.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many external consultants work for his Department. 
Joan Ruddock: DECC currently has 135 external consultants.
Mr. Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many staff of his Department were in its redeployment pool on 1 (a) January, (b) April, (c) July and (d) October 2009. 
Joan Ruddock: The Department of Energy and Climate Change was created on 3 October 2008. There were no staff in the redeployment pool in January, April or July 2009. On 1 October 2009, there were five individuals on DECC's re-deployment register.
Dr. Ladyman: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what mechanisms are in place to ensure that staff who drive (a) a vehicle for which his Department is responsible have valid driving licences and (b) their own vehicles in the course of their official duties have valid driving licences and insurance; what guidance is issued to those staff in respect of road safety while carrying out official duties; what steps are taken to monitor compliance with that guidance; what requirements there are on such staff to report to their line managers accidents in which they are involved while driving in the course of their official duties; and whether such reports are investigated. 
Joan Ruddock: DECC's own policies for travel and use of vehicles are currently still under development. In the interim, DECC staff refer to legacy policies from their 'parent' Departments, BIS and DEFRA. DECC does not own a fleet of vehicles for use by staff but staff may continue to be covered by arrangements from 'parent' Departments. A summary of these are outlined as follows.
(a) BIS lease vehicles: BIS has access to a small number of vehicles (approx. five) which can be leased by staff from contracted providers. Procedures followed by staff and their managers (e.g. on driving licences, insurance etc.) comply with requirements from the individual contracted provider.
(b) Own car for business use/car hire: It is the responsibility of the driver to ensure that they have a current licence which covers the car being driven and adequate insurance to provide cover for business use. Before using their own vehicle for business use, staff must obtain prior approval from their line manager. For staff using hire cars for departmental business, line managers must ensure that the driver:
has no more than six penalty points on their driving licence;
has not been disqualified from driving in the last three years;
has had no more than two 'at fault' accidents in the last 12 months;
Line managers should examine at least annually the driving licences of all staff that drive Department provided hired cars.
The guidance also reminds staff to ensure that they follow all advice, guidance and legislation relating to road safety-and that they will have to pay any fines incurred as a result of any driving offence (e.g. speeding, parking, failure to pay congestion charge).
(a) DEFRA 'pool' of vehicles: to use a vehicle from the DEFRA pool, staff must obtain a valid driving permit. This can be obtained by faxing a copy of a current driving licence, which must be counter signed by their line manager, to the regional official vehicle manager.
(b) Own car for business use/car hire: Staff may only consider the use of a private vehicle if the journey is under 85 miles (unless a director signs off the use of a private vehicle and produces a business case). Staff are responsible for ensuring adequate insurance cover is held and no specific check of driving licences is made. For car hire, drivers must be 21 or over and have held a full licence for at least 12 months. Driving licences must not contain any endorsements for theft of vehicle or taking without consent. Line managers must ensure that drivers are eligible to drive by checking the driving licence before the first hire and thereafter on a six monthly basis. Drivers are also required to show their licence to the hire firm representative when the vehicle is delivered.
DEFRA also promotes safe driving by publishing Eco driving techniques on the intranet. Eco driving techniques have been shown to reduce collisions and driver stress.
Staff driving hire vehicles are required to report any accident as soon as they are able to the vehicle supplier. BIS staff are required to also report the accident to their line manager and the travel and subsistence policy unit. DEFRA staff also report the accident to the travel policy unit and the departmental health and safety unit. Road traffic accidents involving the individual's vehicle are not reportable under RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995).
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the comparative average costs are of transmitting electricity to London from (a) Scotland and (b) Northern Ireland. 
Mr. Kidney: In 2008 the average cost per megawatt hour of transmitting electricity to London was £3.33 from Scotland, £5.48 from Northern Ireland.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment has been made of the merits of changes to the transmission charging methodology in order to vary charges according to the load factors of a plant. 
Mr. Kidney: National Grid are currently exploring the merits of the inclusion of load factors and other information in calculating transmission charges and if so how such a model could be implemented.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether he has made an assessment of the merits of introducing incentives for pumped electricity storage in Scotland. 
Mr. Kidney: The Department has made no assessment of the merits of introducing incentives for pumped storage electricity storage in Scotland.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he made of the number of households likely to receive assistance under his Department's energy efficiency schemes at the commencement of each such scheme. 
Joan Ruddock: The Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT is a market mechanism and suppliers are free to meet it through various approved measures. The numbers of households benefiting will therefore depend on both supplier actions, supply chain constraints, consumer demand and a range of other variables. Ofgem track supplier performance against targets, and report CERT delivery on a quarterly basis; their latest report shows that over 1.5 million insulation measures and 170 million high efficiency lights have been delivered in the period April 2008-June 2009.
Figures for the Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP) only commenced in September 2009. It is estimated that 90,000 households will benefit.
The total number assisted by the Warm Front scheme since its inception in June 2000 is, 2.1 million households.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps the Government are taking to encourage energy suppliers to assist their customers in avoiding arrears. 
Mr. Kidney: The Government are keen to see that suppliers take a fair approach to debt management. Ofgem already publishes guidelines that set minimum standards for suppliers on debt and disconnection issues, including avoiding arrears.
Ofgem and Consumer Focus are currently carrying out a joint review looking at these issues. The review report will be published in the New Year.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will assess the susceptibility to fuel poverty of pensioners in sheltered housing accommodation. 
Fuel poverty is not measured for pensioners living in sheltered accommodation. To assess the susceptibility to fuel poverty of pensioners in sheltered housing would be particularly difficult. Firstly, the English Housing Survey, used as the main source for the fuel
poverty calculation, is a survey of domestic households and does not cover most forms of sheltered housing. In addition, the concept of fuel poverty, defined as needing to spend more than 10 per cent. of income on energy to achieve the "adequate standard of warmth" would be difficult to interpret for those living in such shared accommodation, because rent, or residential fees, typically cover all forms of utilities as part of the sheltered accommodation.
Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (1) pursuant to the answer of 2 December 2009, Official Report, columns 819-20W, on fuel poverty: pensioners, what proportion of pensioner households in each local authority area were in fuel poverty (a) in 2003 and (b) at the latest date for which information if available; 
(2) what proportion of pensioner households in each parliamentary constituency were in fuel poverty (a) in 2003 and (b) at the latest date for which information if available. 
Mr. Kidney: Modelled levels of fuel poverty at sub regional level are not split by age group or any other form of demographic.
Nigel Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change on what date in 2005 ownership of the Gilmerton Core Store was transferred from the Department of Trade and Industry to his Department. 
Joan Ruddock [holding answer 14 December 2009]: There has been no change of ownership. The Gilmerton Core Store freehold continues to be under the ownership of the Department for Business Innovation and Skills.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the statement of 9 December 2009, Official Report , columns 359-71, on the Pre-Budget Report, what criteria apply in respect of eligibility for financial support from the (a) Innovation Investment Fund and (b) Carbon Trust's Venture Capital Scheme; and for what time period these schemes will remain open to applications. 
Joan Ruddock: The UK Innovation Investment Fund will operate on a Fund of Funds structure which means it will not invest directly in companies, but rather invest in a small number of specialist technology funds that have the expertise and track record to invest directly in companies. Investments in individual companies will ultimately be a commercial decision for the underlying fund manager based solely on the quality of the investment opportunity and the fund's investment strategy. First closing is expected to be in January 2010 with final closing following in 12 to 18 months. However, the funds invested in are likely to continue to invest in individual companies over a number of years.
The Carbon Trust (CT) have informed me that all investment proposals for the CT Venture Capital Scheme must clearly demonstrate how the investment will lead to material CO2 emissions savings while also generating a commercial return. In addition, applicants should address the following:
Financial Position-The business plan must be accompanied by a financial outline that allows for a detailed appraisal of the organisation's economic viability.
Management Experience-Teams should demonstrate any relevant sector experience combined with the ambition to turn their business plans into reality.
Market Assessment-The business plan should detail what the key commercial market is and the critical market drivers.
Competitive Advantage-The business proposition should demonstrate a clear competitive advantage with respect to a specific need or market demand.
Other Funding-As Carbon Trust investments will only invest up to 50 per cent. in any one transaction, other private investors must be identified.
Technical and Innovation Evidence-The business plan will need to demonstrate innovation either through a step-change in technology design or in the application of a technology process.
Confirmation of Intellectual Property Protection-What intellectual property rights (IPR) already exist prior to the investment, and how any IPR arising during the investment will be protected and exploited.
All investments need to be UK-based.
The Carbon Trust fund remains open for the foreseeable future.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when his Department issued a notice to tender for the contract to prepare an appraisal of sustainability of the draft nuclear national policy statement; which companies made bids; by what criteria contractors were selected; what the total monetary value of the contracts was; and what assessment he made of the expertise of the contractors selected. 
Mr. Kidney: The Department issued an invitation to tender on 21 August 2008 through the Office for Government Commerce.
Four companies bid for the contract-Drivers Jonas LLP, MWH UK Ltd. (with Enfusion Ltd.), Serco and URS Corporation. The companies who bid also indicated that they could draw upon the expertise of other organisations if required. The contractors were selected against criteria of value for money, and relevant experience and expertise in environmental and sustainability assessment, including strategic environmental assessment.
The Department has paid approximately £740,000 for work relating to the appraisal of sustainability. This includes:
Appraisal of sustainability main report;
11 appraisal of sustainability site reports-one for each nominated site;
Three additional appraisal of sustainability site reports-one for each site identified by the alternative sites study;
Ancillary documents such as technical appendices.
An environmental policy official was involved in the interview process and the selected contractor was judged to have the necessary expertise to prepare the appraisal of sustainability.
Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what additional infrastructure will be required to connect the proposed new nuclear power station at Oldbury to the National Grid; where it will connect to the National Grid; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Kidney [holding answer 10 December 2009]: The connection of individual power stations to the electricity transmission system is a matter for the relevant developer and National Grid in its role as system operator for the GB transmission system. Contractual connection agreements between the relevant developer and National Grid will establish, amongst other things, what infrastructure is required and what the potential routes for that infrastructure might be.
Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much his Department has paid to Opinion Leader Research since its establishment. 
Joan Ruddock: The Department of Energy and Climate Change has not paid anything to Opinion Leader Research since its establishment.
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