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Low Carbon Buildings Programme

Volume 457: debated on Tuesday 27 February 2007

To date, 140 applications, totalling £306,000, for funding under the low carbon buildings programme have been approved in Scotland.

I assume, therefore, that when it reopens on Thursday, the scheme will run out in Scotland within hours, as it is anticipated that it will do in England. When the scheme was launched by the Chancellor in the Budget last year, it was a flagship programme for microgeneration. By June, the Minister for Science and Innovation described it as

“a significant demonstration of Government commitment”,

but last week the Minister for Industry and the Regions—that is the relevance—had downgraded it to only a “demonstration programme”. What is it?

The hon. Gentleman is clearly ignorant of the Scottish Executive’s Scottish community and householder renewables initiative which, together with the low carbon buildings programme, has given more than £7 million worth of grants. It has been a very successful scheme in Scotland. On my visit to Argyll and the islands I saw some of the work that is being done as a result of the initiatives being rolled out. We all share a common aim to encourage microgeneration, which we can do through the planning system. We must encourage more efficient use of energy in homes, which we do through the building regulations programme. Those are devolved matters, but the Administration in Edinburgh is working closely with the Government to achieve those aims.