§ Mr. Alan Simpson
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what is the source of the figures for the number of fuel poor households which are not connected to the gas network given in paragraph 9.12 of the UK Fuel Poverty Strategy; what the definition is of fuel poverty used in this paragraph; what verification 1057W of the figure has been carried out by (a) her Department and (b) independent bodies; and if she will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Wilson
Paragraph 9.12 of the UK Fuel Poverty Strategy states that around 1.3 million people without a gas supply in Great Britain are thought to be in fuel poverty. This figure is a broad estimate derived from estimates for England (0.9 million), Scotland (0.3 million) and Wales (0.05 million) based on official data sources. The production of these figures, and the overall estimate, have been overseen by members of the Government Statistical Service.
It is estimated that in 1998 there were approximately 0.9 million households in England which were fuel poor and did not have mains gas in the home (the householder stated that there was no gas supply in the home). The source of this information was the 1998 Energy Follow Up Survey which was carried out by the Building Research Establishment on behalf of the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. This figure has been derived under both main definitions of fuel poverty used in the Government's UK Fuel Poverty Strategy, set out as follows. There is a small difference (0.08 million) between the figures under these two definitions; however, both figures round to 0.9 million.(1) Fuel poverty defined as when a household needs to spend more than 10 per cent. of its income (including housing benefit and income support for mortgage interest) on fuel in order to maintain a satisfactory heating regime;(2) Fuel poverty defined as when a household needs to spend more than 10 per cent. of its income (excluding housing benefit and income support for mortgage interest) on fuel in order to maintain a satisfactory heating regime.
A summary of the fuel poverty results from this survey is available at www.dti.gov.uk/energy/fuelpoverty/index.htm
It is estimated that in 1996 there were approximately 320,000 households in Scotland which were fuel poor and did not have a mains gas supply in the home (i.e. there was neither a gas meter, nor a mains gas pipe in the home). This is the latest information available for Scotland. The source of this information is the 1996 Scottish House Condition Survey which is carried out on behalf of the Scottish Executive.
The definition of fuel poverty which was used is that a household needs to spend 10 per cent. or more of income (including housing benefit and income support for mortgage interest) on all fuel use.
It is estimated that in 1997–98 there were approximately 50,000 households in Wales which were fuel poor and did not have a mains gas supply in the home. This is derived from information from the 1998 Welsh House Condition Survey which was carried out on behalf of the National Assembly for Wales. The estimate of fuel poverty in Wales is based on the number of households eligible for assistance through the Home Energy Efficiency Scheme (222,000 in 1997–98). Figures are not currently available under definitions of fuel poverty, and this "eligibility measure" is used as a proxy.