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Energy Conservation

Volume 163: debated on Monday 4 December 1989

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To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what information he has on the current level of sales of energy conservation equipment and the comparable figures for 1988; and what is his policy on the stimulation of the market for energy efficiency goods and services.

[holding answer 30 November 1989]: An important task of the energy efficiency office is to bring together in a variety of ways the energy efficiency industry and its potential customers.

Our regional energy efficiency officers sponsor seminars and meetings, and co-operate with trade association such as the Energy Systems Trade Association and the Association for the Conservation of Energy to promote the use of energy efficient equipment. Our technology support units similarly promote particular energy efficient techniques and equipment, under the best practice programme. I myself regularly speak at conferences, as indeed I did at national energy managers exhibition at Birmingham on November 21, to stimulate and challenge the market for energy efficiency.

On Wednesday 29 November, I similarly spoke in Cambridge at a conference entitled "The Greenhouse Effect and Energy Conservation". On 1 November I spoke on the occasion of Northern Electric's PEP and BETA awards, on 11 October at MANWEB's PEP and BETA awards and on 26 September at South Eastern Electricity's BETA awards; on each occasion taking particular pains to challenge managers to purchase and use more energy efficient equipment.

On sales figures, I understand that sales of building energy management systems have increased by about 10 per cent. on 1988 figures to an estimated £89 million in 1989. Information on other types of energy efficiency equipment such as Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant is not readily available, although the CHP industry has claimed "greatly increased interest and sales" in 1989. The Building Energy Efficiency Confederation inform me that in line with the general market for domestic goods, sales of different types of domestic insulation and heating control equipment are down by 6 per cent. and 20 per cent. in 1989 compared with 1988.