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Energy Conservation

Volume 177: debated on Monday 23 July 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what resources his Department devotes to improved energy conservation; what recent measures he has introduced to improve energy conservation; and if he will make a statement.

Our initiatives include the best practice programme, an increased role for the regional energy efficiency officers, and the public sector campaign. In addition, a new home energy efficiency scheme for low-income households is being prepared.

Does my right hon. Friend agree that energy conservation is as important as energy creation, and that every household in Britain can play its part? Is he aware that in Leicestershire, the average three-bedroomed, semi-detached house could make £50 savings per year for an investment of £100 on roof insulation or £30 per year for a £10 investment on lagging the tank?

I agree with my hon. Friend that households in Leicestershire, Lincolnshire or wherever could nearly all make a major contribution to their household bills and thus to the economy.

There must be some way of converting all the energy that we use bobbing up and down in the House to provide energy for the House of Commons. More importantly, has the Minister noticed the high concentrations of photochemical smog in London during the hot spells in the past week or so? How do the Government intend to monitor the pollution levels and what do they intend to do about the causes of that major health hazard to Londoners?

I have noticed every now and then a scudding cloud, as it were. I will refer the hon. Gentleman's question to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment.

Does my right hon. Friend agree that one of the most energy conservation-conscious industries is the glasshouse industry? Will he consider introducing a green tariff for those industries that recycle their flue gas and carbon dioxide as the glasshouse industry does? I know that my right hon. Friend is a defender of the environment, even in his own greenhouse.

It is kind of my hon. Friend to refer to my propensity to enjoy my garden and, indeed, my greenhouse. I agree that people who use greenhouses do so most efficiently and effectively and to the enhancement of the environment. The question of taxation implications with which my hon. Friend is trying to tempt me would be better put to my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer.