§ Mr. Cousins
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many grants have been awarded under the home energy efficiency scheme in the Newcastle upon Tyne, Central constituency from 1997–98 to 1999–2000; and what was the(a) total and (b) average value of grants in that period. 
§ Mr. Meacher
The number of grants and their total value and average value for each year from 1997–2000 is shown in the table. Also shown is the comparative information for the current year to date.
Period Number of grants Average value of grant £ Total value of grant £ 1997–98 606 142 85,900 1998–99 450 135 60,600 1999–00 511 162 82,800 2000–011 1,133 371 420,100 For overall period 1997–2000 2,700 241 649,400 1 Up to 13 November 2000
The average value of grant has increased substantially in the current year following the launch of the new Home Energy Efficiency Scheme (HEES) for England on 1 June 2000. It replaced the more basic scheme that operated since 1991. HEES provides packages of insulation and heating measures, linked to the condition of the property and the type of householder. The grant maximum increased from £315 up to £2,000.