asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) if he will carry out an inquiry into how many schools throughout the country kept heating plants and domestic hot water circuits left on in schools which remained unused during the Christmas holidays, in order to establish whether greater economies in fuel consumption could have been achieved;(2) if, in the interests of energy conservation, he will take steps designed to ensure that schools which remain unused during holiday periods, do not waste heat unnecessarily.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Energy is holding urgent discussions with local authorities on energy conservation, which will include economy in the use of fuel when buildings are not occupied. In most schools automatic controls shut off the heating and hot water plant during weekends and holidays, except when it is activated by a frost warning device. Many local authorities have fuel efficiency officers who assist schools to operate their plant economically, and my Department is encouraging all authorities to adopt such good housekeeping arrangements. I do not think a special inquiry is needed.