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Departmental Energy

Volume 475: debated on Thursday 8 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department has taken to reduce its energy consumption in the last 12 months; and what his 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. (201737)

The rebuild of the Lion House Building at Alnwick will be the first carbon neutral building on the DEFRA estate. It will deliver specific sustainability targets in relation to management, energy, internal environment, transport, water, materials, land use, ecology and pollution, and has integrated initiatives such as wind turbines, photovoltaic solar electric and solar thermal panels and biomass heating. The project will set the standard for all future DEFRA network estate projects.

DEFRA is currently installing advanced metering reading (AMR) on approximately 100 of its sites. The meters will capture over 90 per cent. of the DEFRA network estates utility use from electricity, gas, oil and water by the end of summer 2008. The Carbon Trust indicates that savings of up to 10 to 15 per cent. can be achieved through the implementation of initiatives realised through the analysis of AMR data, through reducing the base load, optimising the use of equipment and reducing peak usage.

DEFRA is implementing the Carbon Trust's Carbon management programme (CMP). The programme has enabled the Department to develop a systematic approach to carbon management and take a strategic approach to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions through operational improvements, reduced energy costs, staff awareness and monitoring initiatives. The CMP is integrated with DEFRA's energy efficiency programme and the numerous renewable energy projects being rolled out across the estate.

DEFRA is the first Government Department to access Salix Funding—a revolving ring fenced fund, which has been allocated to the CMP. Financial savings from CMP projects will be fed back into the fund for further projects.

DEFRA has installed 17 powerPerfector units across its estate to optimise voltage, therefore reducing electricity consumption.

A breakdown of energy costs:

Energy expenditure (electricity, gas, oil)