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Energy Saving

Volume 974: debated on Monday 26 November 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Energy what target he has set for energy saving.

There is no formal quantitative target for overall energy saving. However, the Government are fully committed to international efforts to conserve energy. This was an essential feature of the agreements reached at the Strasbourg and Tokyo summits.

Is my hon. Friend aware that, although the House will welcome the statement that has been made, especially the implementation of the Conservative Party election manifesto, it will wish to know the factors that he is taking into consideration in the energy-saving programme?

My hon. Friend is considering the longer term. We assume savings of approximately 20 per cent, through added conservation methods to the end of the century. We envisage savings in industry of about 28 per cent, or more. In the domestic sector, we estimate that there will be savings of 27½ per cent., in transport 34½ per cent., and in the commercial and public sector about 22 per cent.

As an additional contribution, especially in the commercial and business sector, will my hon. Friend consider the possibility of amending the Offices. Shops and Railway Premises Act 1963, which makes legislative provision for temperatures in commercial premises?

We are examining any areas that inhibit conservation and any areas in which the relaxation of regulations may lead to improvement.

Will the hon. Gentleman look again at some of the detailed recommendations made by the Select Committee on Science and Technology on energy saving about two and a half to three years ago?

Will the Minister examine the pricing of diesel fuel in view of the statement that it is 15 per cent, more efficient than petrol?