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Departments: Energy

Volume 458: debated on Wednesday 14 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what strategy he has put in place for (a) the use of renewable energy and (b) meeting energy targets in his Department’s buildings; and if he will make a statement. (125411)

In 2004-05, the latest year for which figures have been published, 17 per cent. of the electricity consumed by the Home Office was acquired from renewable sources.

This exceeds the new sustainable operations targets (SOGE) announced by the Prime Minister in June this year, which requires Departments to source at least 10 per cent. of electricity from renewable sources by 31 March 2008.

The Home Office continues to explore opportunities to further increase the amount of renewable electricity acquired from renewable sources both with suppliers and through self generation.

The Department has recently agreed a strategy that will enable us to address the remaining SOGE energy targets which require improvements in energy efficiency, reduction in carbon emissions and offsetting those emissions that cannot be reduced. Our central sustainable development policy team will shortly begin work on action plans to meet the following:

increased Combined Heat and Power (CHP) uptake via central energy procurement initiatives and within new builds and major refurbishment projects

introducing pilot schemes as a first step towards a fully fledged carbon neutrality strategy for the office estate

participation in the OGC benchmarking scheme for the office estate which, among other aspects, looks at energy performance and will inform the setting of improvement targets.

These initiatives will be supported by more reliable data systems that will be realised through our new shared service operations, as well as by procurement initiatives and funding for energy efficiency programmes to reduce emissions and for carbon offset projects.