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Mr. Kidney: The Department of Energy and Climate Change is responsible for national programmes aimed at reducing fuel poverty. The combination of Warm Front, the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT), Community Energy Savings Programme (CESP), Decent Homes and local programmes delivered through local government, partnerships, energy suppliers, eaga and NEA (such as Warm Zones and the Community Energy Efficiency Fund (CEEF)) are all important in tackling fuel poverty across regions of England.
The Warm Front scheme is the Government's main scheme for tackling fuel poverty and up to 30 November 2009 has delivered energy efficiency measures to 8,414 households in Preston since the year 2000. Additionally, over 438 benefit entitlement checks have been undertaken, identifying an average increase in income of £23.63 for those entitled to additional benefits.
The Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) requires energy suppliers to meet at least 40 per cent. of their obligation by promoting and installing measures in the homes of a priority group of vulnerable consumers in receipt of qualifying benefits or people aged over 70 years. Measures are only reported at GB level and details at constituency level are not available. However, the Government are developing a voluntary agreement with suppliers for them to report CERT main measures into the Homes Energy Efficiency Database (HEED) maintained by the Energy Saving Trust; the Government hope to conclude negotiations shortly.
Mr. Andy Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many companies have been investigated and removed from Government schemes for cavity wall insulation grants in the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
The Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) is the Government's principal instrument for encouraging households to install insulation. However, CERT is not a Government managed scheme, but rather a carbon saving obligation placed by Government on
energy supply companies with more than 50,000 customers. Suppliers meet their targets by promoting (typically through subsidised offers) and installing a mix of approved energy efficiency measures, including insulation measures. Energy suppliers each have their own contracts with insulation companies which are treated as commercial in confidence. A small amount of insulation activity is directly funded through the Government's flagship fuel poverty programme-Warm Front. However, no contractors have been removed in the last five years.
Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what discussions he has had with the devolved Administrations to ensure co-ordination in implementation of the UK Low Carbon Transition Plan. 
Joan Ruddock: Ministers and officials engage with the devolved Administrations on energy and climate change matters, particularly where there are implications for devolved policy or to ensure coordination and alignment of reserved matters with devolved policy. We also have a statutory obligation to consult the devolved Administrations on aspects relating to the Climate Change Act 2008, including on setting the levels of the carbon budgets and targets under the Act, and preparing policies for meeting them.
Since publication of the Low Carbon Transition Plan, this has included discussions between officials on renewable energy, heat and energy savings, the extension to the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT), Smart Meters and the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) Energy Efficiency Scheme.
Mr. Kidney: The Department has met with many companies to discuss smart grids over the last six months. This has included all distribution network operators, all transmission operators, ICT companies, a selection of electricity supply companies, equipment suppliers and relevant trade associations.
Dr. Desmond Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change which stakeholder groups his Department has (a) created and (b) consulted on the development of a smart grid in the last six months. 
Mr. Kidney: The Department has set up and co-chaired with Ofgem a working group of the Electricity Networks Strategy Group to help develop a vision for a smart grid. This vision has informed Government thinking on smart grids.
Dr. Desmond Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when he last met (a) Ofcom and (b) Ofgem to discuss the establishment of a smart grid; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Desmond Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what meetings with each stakeholder group he has had on the allocation of the bandwidth spectrum in respect of the development of a smart grid. 
Stephen Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (1) what his policy is on the future allocation of renewable obligation certificates per unit of electricity produced by biofuels; 
Mr. Kidney: The banding levels (number of renewables obligation certificates (ROCs) per megawatt hour) for all technologies will be reviewed periodically at specified dates. The first scheduled review is due to come into effect on 1 April 2013, with work beginning in October 2010. In the case of biofuels, this will also take account of the strategic assessment which the Government will be undertaking next year on priorities for the use of biomass.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what discussions his Department has had with relevant authorities in The Netherlands about the construction and subsequent impacts of the storm surge barrier on the Eastern Scheldt in The Netherlands; and what steps have been taken to apply lessons learnt there to the development of tidal power proposals for the Severn Estuary. 
Mr. Kidney: The Eastern Scheldt storm surge barrier is one of a number of analogues reviewed as part of the Hydraulics and Geomorphology assessment within the Strategic Environmental Assessment of tidal power from the Severn Estuary. In 2008, at the invitation of the Severn tidal power feasibility study team, Dutch officials gave a presentation on the construction and subsequent impacts of the storm surge barrier.
In addition representatives from Deltares (an independent research institute for water, soil and subsurface issues based in The Netherlands) have attended a number of workshops on Hydraulics and Geomorphology as part of the Strategic Environmental Assessment. They presented
and led discussions on the geomorphological implications arising from the construction of the storm surge barrier. This evidence feeds into the Severn Tidal Power Feasibility Study.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent discussions he has
had with (a) HM Treasury and (b) other Ministerial colleagues on the operation of the Warm Homes and Energy Conservation Act 2000; and if he will make a statement.