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Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many overseas training courses were attended by his Department's civil servants in the latest period for which figures are available; how many civil servants attended each course; and what the total cost to the public purse was of each course. 
Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many (a) away days and (b) conferences that took place outside his Department's building attended by civil servants in his Department there have been since 2005; and what the cost was of each. 
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many and what percentage of parliamentary questions tabled for written answer by his Department on a named day in session 2008-09 received a substantive answer on that day. 
Joan Ruddock: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Glasgow, East (John Mason) on 14 December 2009, Official Report, column 926W. The percentage of named day questions answered on the day was 29 per cent.
Mr. Grogan: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the effect on independent electricity producers of (a) the regime for the renewables obligation and (b) the redemption of renewables obligation certificates sourced from the co-firing of regular biomass set out on the draft Renewables Obligation Order. 
Joan Ruddock: There are 4,542 generating stations accredited and provided with support under the RO as of 14 December 2009. Over 90 per cent. of these stations are not vertically integrated with electricity suppliers.
Some industry stakeholders have raised concerns that the cap on the co-firing ROC market restricts competition and disproportionately penalises independent co-firers who, they felt, were forced to participate in a partitioned marketplace, meaning they had to accept significant discounts in price for their ROCs.
We commissioned Oxera to look into these concerns. Their report suggested that in the long run the cap is unlikely to significantly affect the ROC market for co-firing. There were some short-term concerns but following consultation we considered these were outweighed by the potential detrimental effect on the ROC value for all renewables technologies. The Oxera Report suggests that not having a co-firing cap could lead to a decrease in ROC values which could impact investment and delay deployment of new biomass stations.
(2) what his most recent assessment is of the relationship between the performance of energy supply companies in meeting their obligations under his Department's energy efficiency and lowest rate tariff schemes and their market share; 
(3) what estimate he has made of the (a) number and (b) percentage of households which have received assistance from each energy supply company under his Department's energy efficiency and lowest rate tariff schemes; and what the cost to his Department of each such scheme has been to date. 
Joan Ruddock: DECC set out the future of its energy efficiency schemes in the Low Carbon Transition Plan published July 2009, this included extending the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) (an obligation on energy suppliers to meet household carbon saving targets) to the end of 2012 before moving to a new framework post 2012. A consultation on the CERT extension will be published before Christmas and further details on delivery arrangements post 2012 will be published early in the new year.
The CERT is a GB-wide carbon saving obligation on energy suppliers so it is delivered at no cost to DECC. Ofgem reported in July 2009 that suppliers had made good progress towards their targets having achieved the following percentage savings against their individual obligations (the overall target is 185 million tonnes of lifetime CO2 savings) by the end of the first year of CERT:
Reporting is by measure and not by household. Together, suppliers delivered a significant number of energy efficiency measures by the end of the first year of CERT including around 850,000 cavity wall insulation jobs, almost 1.5 million loft insulation jobs, 40,000 solid wall insulation jobs and some 200 million compact fluorescent lights.
The Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP) only commenced in September 2009, no households have yet received assistance. CESP runs to December 2012 and it is estimated that 90,000 households will benefit.
In the 2008 Budget the Chancellor announced an increase in suppliers' collective expenditure on their voluntary social programmes to at least £100 million in 2008-09, £125 million in 2009-10 rising to £150 million by 2011. Energy supplier's social tariffs are delivered at no cost to the Government.
Ofgem monitors the suppliers' social programmes on behalf of Government. In its latest report on suppliers' social programmes, published in August 2009, Ofgem confirmed that suppliers have each met the first year spend target as set by Government and that suppliers' collective expenditure totalled £157 million, which exceeded the Government set target for the first year of the agreement by 57 per cent. £130 million of this collective total expenditure was attributable to social tariffs. This report also detailed the number of customer accounts benefiting from a social tariff and the total savings to customers of these tariffs, per supplier, as at 31 March 2009. A copy of this report can be found online at:
The initial findings report of Ofgem's energy supply probe gave a snapshot of the total number of customer accounts per supplier, as at June 2008. A copy of the energy market probe initial findings report can be found online at:
According to these reports the total savings to customers during 2008-09, customer accounts on a social tariff as at 31 March 2009 and total electricity and gas customers per supplier as at June 2008 is reported as:
|Supplier||Energy type||Total savings to customers (£ million)||Total customer accounts on a social tariff as at 31 March 2009||Total customer accounts as at June 2008||Percentage of customer accounts on a social tariff( 1)|
|(1) As data for social tariffs and total customer accounts are not as at the same period of time these percentages should be treated as approximate.|
(2) As Ofgem report on electricity, gas and dual fuel customer accounts on a social tariff in their social programmes report and on electricity and gas customer accounts in their the energy supply probe, initial findings report, we have only provided the percentage of total customer accounts per supplier on social tariff.
The Low Carbon Transition Plan also included an announcement that we will introduce social price support when the voluntary agreement ends in March 2011. We have since introduced clauses on social price support as part of the Energy Bill. We also announced in the pre-Budget report that we would require energy suppliers to make £300 million available per year by 2013-14 for social price support. This is double what they have agreed to provide in the final year of the voluntary agreement.
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