Skip to main content

Low Energy Technology

Volume 477: debated on Thursday 12 June 2008

The Government fund the Carbon Trust to work with business to increase energy efficiency and administer the enhanced capital allowance scheme for energy-saving technologies. The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform stimulates innovation through a photonics knowledge transfer network, providing support and guidance for manufacturers, especially small and medium-sized businesses. Both those schemes are relevant to low-energy lighting.

LED lights are super-efficient and emit virtually no heat, so they can help to reduce carbon footprints and fire risk, yet they are not included on the energy technology list to which the hon. Lady has referred. Would she be kind enough to agree to meet me and my constituent, Mr. David Linger from Kettering, who is an expert on the issue, to discuss the matter further?

I agree absolutely with the hon. Gentleman about the value of LEDs, and I can tell him that a new energy technology criteria list will be published, probably in a couple of months’ time. Some white LEDs will be on that list. Products that meet the criteria will be eligible to be put on the energy technology product list, which in turn makes them eligible for enhanced capital allowances. ECAs are administered by the Carbon Trust. That is really important, and I suggest that he ask his constituent to get in touch with the Carbon Trust as soon as possible. I am sure that my hon. Friend the Minister for the Environment would be pleased to meet the hon. Gentleman and his constituent.

The attraction of LEDs is, of course, that 70 per cent. of the energy is converted to light, but unfortunately only 20 per cent. of the light normally escapes the bulb. What assessment has the Minister made of the potential of nanoimprint lithography to improve that ratio and make bulbs more effective, and what are the Government doing to support that new, growing industry, which has great potential to save the energy that is spent on light, which is a major consumer of energy?

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for his contribution. He is a well-known expert in the field, and he asks us many questions on the subject. As I have said, LEDs are potentially extremely valuable for their energy efficiency. We have a nanotechnology working group—

It is very small. I can assure my hon. Friend the Member for North-West Leicestershire (David Taylor) that LED technology is part of our considerations, and will continue to be so, because we think that it has great potential.