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Energy Efficiency

Volume 406: debated on Wednesday 11 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when her Department is planning to start the consultation on an expansion of the Energy Efficiency Commitment to run from 2005 to at least 2008, as stated in the Energy White Paper of February 2003; and which organisations her Department is intending to consult. [116171]

We have already begun informal discussions on the next Energy Efficiency Commitment, to start in April 2005, so that we can take account of the views of stakeholders in drawing up proposals for a statutory consultation in spring 2004. We have set up a High Level Advisory Committee to provide strategic advice to Government, and also welcome input on more detailed and technical issues. We will consult a wide range of bodies with an interest in energy efficiency.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps her Department plans to take to combine household energy efficiency with (a) micro CHP, (b) small-scale renewable heat and (c) renewable power. [116292]

Micro-CHP is potentially a useful technology for delivering domestic energy efficiency and carbon savings. However, the technology is not yet commercially available in the UK. The Government are working closely with the industry to overcome a number of regulatory and technical barriers to bringing the technology to market. An important step towards this will be a major independent and technology-impartial field trial sponsored by the Carbon Trust, through its Low Carbon Innovation Programme (LCIP) in partnership with the Energy Saving Trust. This will commence later this year. I understand the trial is expected to feature a range of technologies and end use applications across the residential and commercial sectors, in order to provide an objective assessment of the benefits that micro CHP can offer.DTI's Clear Skies Scheme and the PV demonstration programme both encourage applicants to think seriously about energy efficiency when installing new renewable energy and heat systems. The Energy Saving Trust, who manage the Major PV Demonstration programme, endeavour to offer energy efficiency advice in parallel with giving information on the PV grants. The 52 Energy Advice Centres and six pilot Renewable Energy Advice Centres combine this function.Similarly, applicants to the £10 million Clear Skies programme for household and community schemes, are encouraged to contact their local energy efficiency advice centre in order to check their existing household systems. This is testament to the fact that, particularly when allied to energy efficiency measures, renewable energy is one of the most effective methods of reducing carbon dioxide emissions.