§ Mr. Meacher
[holding answer 18 July 2001]The Department maintains a close watch on the performance of both scheme managers—Eaga Partnership Limited and Eastern HEES Limited. This includes both regular management reports, and the use of an external contractor—White Young and Green—to audit the systems operated by the two scheme managers to ensure their effectiveness.
The introduction of the radically improved Home Energy Efficiency Scheme in June 2000 represented a difficult challenge for both scheme managers. The national shortage of gas heating engineers has led to severe delays in some areas in the installation and repair of central heating systems. This problem is being tackled through the recruitment of additional installers and the training of 800 new engineers to work under the scheme. These measures have led to major improvements in the speed of work with over 2,800 boiler installations completed in June 2001, compared to 590 in January.
The Department continues to maintain a close watch on the performance of both scheme managers to ensure that they provide a quality service to households applying to the scheme.
§ Mr. Sayeed
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if energy efficiency targets set by the Government as part of the Home Energy Efficiency Scheme are being met; and if she will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Meacher
The Home Energy Efficiency Scheme (HEES) provides households with packages of heating and insulation measures, tailored to the condition of the property and the householders' circumstances.
The individual packages of measures were developed in conjunction with the Building Research Establishment and are designed to ensure that householders are no longer at risk from fuel poverty.1077W
Energy efficiency in homes is commonly measured using the standard assessment procedure (SAP). This is a fuel cost based rating system that is expressed on a scale of one (poor) to 100 (excellent).
While there are no specific energy efficiency targets set within HEES, on average, homes are left with an average energy efficiency rating of SAP 59. The average improvement from the work is SAP 19.