Insulation plans to help fuel poor
The chancellor has promised an extra £150 million to help thousands of people insulate their homes as part of measures announced in the pre-budget report.
Alistair Darling told Parliament he was providing £100 million of new money and bringing forward another £50 million to top up the £6.8 billion home energy saving programme unveiled in September.
The Warm Front scheme has already spent £50 million on free energy-saving measures for low-income households, and the extra cash announced today will help another 60,000 more homes with insulation costs.
Mr Darling also told the Commons that energy regulator Ofgem will monitor energy companies’ tariffs, and publish quarterly reports on the relationship between wholesale fuel prices and retail prices.
‘There is widespread concern that the fall in the price of wholesale energy has not been reflected quickly enough in reduced household bills,’ Mr Darling said.
The chancellor again warned energy companies to close unfair gaps in pricing between pre-payment meters and ordinary payment.
If enough progress is not made in the next few months, the government would use statutory powers to force the issue, he said.