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Departmental Energy

Volume 475: debated on Tuesday 29 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps her Department has taken to reduce its energy consumption in the last 12 months; and what her Department's expenditure on energy was in (a) the most recent 12 month period for which figures are available and (b) the immediately preceding 12 months. (201747)

Communities and Local Government have taken numerous steps to reduce its energy consumption over the last twelve months.

The Department has developed a detailed Energy Efficiency Action Plan which provides a structured, timetabled approach to reducing its carbon emissions. Efficiency controls have been fitted to fans and pumps, and plant operating hours have been reduced. The building energy management system in the Department's main headquarter building has also been upgraded to enable more effective control of heating and cooling. Air conditioning plant has remained off during the winter season, and external solar blinds have been permanently lowered during summer periods to reduce solar gain. An audit was also undertaken to ensure that sensors fitted to lights were operating as intended. (The Department's office floor lighting is fitted with daylight and movement sensors which automatically switch lights off after 2 ½ minutes of inactivity.)

Ongoing staff awareness campaigns continue to help towards reducing the energy consumption of office equipment and the total number of computer printers has been reduced. The Department also participated in the Lights Out London energy efficiency awareness raising event.

As part of the Department's wider estate rationalisation strategy, the total number of buildings occupied has been reduced, thereby reducing total energy consumption across the estate.

Actions taken to reduce energy consumption within the Department's executive agencies have included installation of more energy efficient lighting systems, reductions in heating plant operating hours, installation of timer devices on boilers and investigations into options for on-site renewable energy generation.

Energy expenditure in the last twelve months and the twelve months immediately preceding was as follows:

£

2006-07

2007-08

London headquarters

1,447,997

895,565

Executive Agencies

2,322,468

1,802,928

These figures do not include data from the regional Government Offices.