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Energy Conservation

Volume 976: debated on Friday 21 December 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what incentives are available at present to industrial premises, private houses and public bodies to improve energy conservation; what the response to these has been; and if he will make a statement.

I have been asked to reply.The following incentives are available to improve energy conservation in buildings:

(a) Industrial premises
25 per cent. grants are available to industry and commerce under the Department of Industry's energy conservation scheme towards replacement of inefficient boilers and insulation of poorly insulated buildings. There have been some 2,800 applications, and 1,800 offers of assistance totalling £9 million have been made. The scheme closes on 30 June 1980.
A 100 per cent. First-year tax allowance may be claimed when existing industrial buildings are insulated. It is not possible to say what the response has been as first-year allowances for different purposes are not separately recorded.
(b) Private houses
The homes insulation scheme, which has been operated by the Department of the Environment, the Scottish Office, the Welsh Office and the Northern Ireland Office since September 1978, provides 66 per cent. grants, subject to a maximum of £50, towards the cost of loft insulation and tank and pipe lagging in dwellings. Up to the end of June 1979 (the latest date for which returns are available) over 570,000 applications have been accepted.
(c) Public bodies
The Departments of the Environment, Education and Science, and Health and Social Security, the Northern Ireland Office, the Scottish Office and the Welsh Office, are making available a total of some £85 million in 1979–80 for energy conservation measures in public sector housing, local authority non-domestic buildings, educational buildings and National Health Service buildings.