Research briefings

This page provides access to research briefings produced by the House of Commons Library, the House of Lords Library and the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST). You can filter the research briefings by date, type, or one of 350 topics. Pick your options from the dropdown menus.

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    • Commons Briefing papers: Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
    • Lords Library Notes: Authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
    • POSTbriefs: Responsive policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on mini-literature reviews and peer review, typically commissioned by select committees and library research services.
    • POSTnotes: Proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board.
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    Topics: Research material can be filtered by subject using the topic terms. The topics are arranged in a taxonomy (a hierarchical classification) and can be further filtered using sub-topics.

Displaying 81-100 out of 120

Energy Bill
Published Thursday, December 13, 2012 | Commons Briefing papers RP12-79
The Energy Bill [Bill 100 of 2012-13] seeks to implement ‘electricity market reform’ and through this achieve ‘secure, clean and affordable’ electricity supplies. The Bill was introduced to the Commons on 29 November 2012 and will have its Second Reading debate on 19 December 2012. A draft Bill was subject to pre-legislative scrutiny by the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee.
Cold Weather Payments for winter 2012/2013
Published Thursday, October 25, 2012 | Commons Briefing papers SN06074
Cold Weather Payments of 25 pounds a week are made to certain recipients of Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance or Pension Credit during periods of very cold weather. To ‘trigger’ the payments, the average temperature at a specified weather station must be recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees or below for seven consecutive days.
Food Prices and Affordability
Published Thursday, October 11, 2012 | Commons Briefing papers SN06436
Food prices have hit historic peaks in the last few years. This note sets out recent trends internationally, UK policy responses and the follow through to UK prices and spending habits.
Energy complaints and the Energy Ombudsman
Published Tuesday, October 9, 2012 | Commons Briefing papers SN06428
This short note outlines complaints routes against energy companies.
Measuring National Wellbeing
Published Monday, September 17, 2012 | POSTnotes POST-PN-421
This POSTnote summarises the latest research on measuring national wellbeing, its components and causes, and examines some policy implications.
Winter Fuel Payments for “off-gas grid” households
Published Friday, August 24, 2012 | Commons Briefing papers SN06408
Four million (15% of) households in the UK are not connected to the mains gas grid and their average fuel costs are signifiantly higher than those with a mains gas supply. A Private Members Bill presented by Mike Weir MP aims to help older off-grid households by bringing forward the timing of Winter Fuel Payments to enable them to purchase fuel at a time of year when prices are likely to be lower.
Olympic Britain
Published Thursday, July 26, 2012 | Commons Briefing papers RP12-38
Olympic Britain tells the story of the profound economic and social change in the UK since the two previous London Olympics, in 1908 and 1948, using statistics and expert analysis. The book can also be browsed using the Parliament website at
Regional house prices: affordability and income ratios
Published Tuesday, May 29, 2012 | Commons Briefing papers SN01922
In 2011 the ratio of lower quartile house price to lower quartile earnings in England was 6.5. The highest ratios are found in London (9.0), the South East (8.2) and the South West (7.8).
Assessing Energy Efficiency
Published Friday, May 25, 2012 | POSTnotes POST-PN-409
This POSTnote examines definitions of energy efficiency, looks at methods to measure and verify achieved energy savings and summarises UK and EU polices to promote energy efficiency.
The draft Energy Bill 2012
Published Wednesday, May 23, 2012 | Commons Briefing papers SN06324
The 2012 Queen’s Speech announced that "My Government will propose reform of the electricity market to deliver secure, clean and affordable electricity and ensure prices are fair”. This will be done through the latest in a line of Energy Bills, published in draft for pre-legislative scrutiny on 22 May 2012.
The 'conservatory tax'
Published Tuesday, April 17, 2012 | Commons Briefing papers SN06301
Changes to the building regulations are currently being consulted upon. These have led to press reports of a ‘conservatory tax’ of up to 10% on certain home improvements, through required associated energy efficiency measures. Reports have also said that people will be forced to take out green deal loans if they cannot afford to fund these improvements.
Energy Bill [HL]: Committee Stage Report
Published Tuesday, September 6, 2011 | Commons Briefing papers RP11-64
This is a report on the House of Commons Committee Stage of the Energy Bill. It complements Library Research Paper 11/36 (Energy Bill) prepared for the Commons Second Reading.
Energy Bill [HL]
Published Wednesday, May 4, 2011 | Commons Briefing papers RP11-36
This briefing on the Energy Bill has been prepared for the Second Reading Debate in the House of Commons. The flagship policy in the Bill is the “Green Deal”, a scheme whereby homes would be given finance upfront to make energy efficiency improvements, which would then be paid for by energy bill savings. The Bill would also set up a new obligation on energy companies to help certain groups of consumers with saving energy, who need extra support. The Bill also introduces a range of other measures designed to improve energy efficiency; such as facilitating the roll-out of smart meters, widening access to energy performance certificates and making information on energy bills clearer. The Bill also provides measures designed to help improve energy security, to encourage low carbon generation and to grant additional powers to the Coal Authority to charge for certain services.
Fuel Poverty: Topical Social Indicators Page
Published Wednesday, January 12, 2011 | Commons Briefing papers SN05821
Trends in the level of fuel poverty and variations by household and dwelling characteristics

Topic: Fuel poverty

Cold Weather Payments for winter 2010/2011
Published Thursday, December 23, 2010 | Commons Briefing papers SN05811
Cold Weather Payments are made to certain claimants of means-tested benefits during periods of very cold weather. To trigger the £25 payments, the average temperature in an area must be recorded as, or forecast to be, 0°C or below for seven consecutive days.
Savings Account and Health in Pregnancy Grant Bill: Committee Stage Report
Published Thursday, November 18, 2010 | Commons Briefing papers RP10-77
The Bill gives effect to decisions made as part of the initial review of public expenditure undertaken soon after the 2010 General Election. This Paper summarises proceedings in the Commons Committee Stage of the Bill. Several amendments proposed but none were successful. The paper complements Research Paper 10/66, which was prepared for the Second Reading of the Bill.
Global Economic Crisis & developing countries
Published Friday, April 30, 2010 | Commons Briefing papers SN05146
This note was last published on 26 August 2009 and will not be updated. In the early stages of the financial crisis there were hopes that it would be largely contained within developed economies, with developing economies having 'decoupled' from them. These early hopes proved unfounded, with developing countries struck by declining trade, a loss of investor confidence and withdrawal of investment, a fall in the value of vital remittances, and much reduced growth and contraction in some cases. There are also fears that aid flows may suffer in the aftermath of the crisis. This note summarises key reports and statistics, with links to further resources.
Sustainable Communities Act 2007 (Amendment) Bill [Bill 21 of 2009-10]
Published Wednesday, February 24, 2010 | Commons Briefing papers RP10-16
The Bill seeks to amend the 2007 Act by setting a deadline for the Secretary of State to initiate the next round of proposals for enhancing the sustainability of local communities from local authorities under the Act. It provides for regulations to be made specifying the rules for this process. These are also to cover parish council involvement and the role of local petitioning. There is also provision for greater flexibility in decision-making on proposals.
Support for domestic energy users
Published Monday, January 25, 2010 | Commons Briefing papers SN04873
This note sets out financial support available to domestic energy consumers, including grants for central heating, insulation, microgeneration equipment and social security measures. It also explains how to seek advice or information about gas and electricity problems from Consumer Direct and the Energy Ombudsman.
Cold Weather Payments
Published Friday, January 22, 2010 | Commons Briefing papers SN00696
Cold Weather Payments. By Steven Kennedy. SN/SP/696.

Displaying 81-100 out of 120

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