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Departmental Energy

Volume 491: debated on Monday 20 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what steps have been taken by (a) his Department and (b) its agencies to improve the thermal efficiency of their buildings in the last 12 months. (266760)

The Department’s building services are provided through the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) and the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF), which manage the buildings that DIUS occupies.

The Department and its agencies have taken a number of steps over the last 12 months to improve the thermal efficiency in their buildings. These include:

London, Kingsgate House

Over the last 12 months the building management system has been enhanced with new control systems, upgraded time schedules and automated metering. This provides half-hourly energy readings to suppliers which enable savings to be made through improved customer monitoring. There is also a scheduled quarterly boiler maintenance plan to optimise efficiencies.

Sheffield, Moorfoot

The current building is end of life. DCSF and DIUS are acquiring new accommodation in Sheffield for staff. Therefore, it has not been economically viable to make improvements to energy efficiency in this building. Energy efficiencies will naturally feature in the new building project that the Departments are currently pursuing to ensure maximum efficiency.

National Physical Laboratory Teddington (NPL)

The NPL have installed comprehensive metering to identify where energy is being consumed and are also exploring the possibility of using ground source energy.

National Weights and Measures Laboratory (NWML) Teddington

The NWML have installed a smart meter to measure electricity consumption. This highlights areas where consumption is high giving an indication of poor thermal efficiency. The air conditioning system has been examined to establish areas where it can be switched off for periods of the day or week. Reflective film has been applied to the outside of the windows to reduce heat being radiated into glass and conducted into the metal frames. The heat is then reflected back into the building.

Intellectual Property Office (IPO) Newport and Cwmfelinfach

The IPO have a building energy management system (BEMS) which provides control over the main heating, cooling and ventilation systems. This enables us to adjust the heating needed within specific areas of each building and identify where there may be poor thermal efficiency.

The air conditioning system has been examined to establish areas where it can be switched off for periods of the day or week. Thermal efficiency has been increased by the introduction of ‘tin foil’ between the radiators and exterior walls to reflect the heat inwards in places where there are specific problems. Electric doors have been installed to isolate the loading bay and downward blowers have been put in place at exterior doorways to contain heat within the building. The IPO are also investigating insulating ceilings where this is cost-effective.

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what recent progress his Department has made towards the target of increasing its energy efficiency per square metre of its Estate by 15 per cent. by 2010, relative to 1999-2000 levels; and if he will make a statement. (266878)

The Department’s building services are provided through the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) and the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF), who manage the buildings that DIUS occupies.

DIUS was established in June of 2007. No baseline data exist for 1999-2000. As 2008-09 will be the first full year of reporting we cannot yet record improvements against a baseline. Therefore the 15 per cent. efficiency savings target is not applicable to DIUS. However DIUS is making improvements:

London

Over the last 12 months the building management system has been enhanced with new control systems, upgraded time schedules and automated metering. This provides half-hourly energy readings to suppliers which enable savings to be made through improved customer monitoring. There is now also a scheduled quarterly boiler maintenance plan to optimise efficiencies.

Sheffield

DCSF and DIUS are in the process of acquiring new accommodation in Sheffield. The existing building will be vacated before any improvements in energy efficiency could be realized. Energy efficiency will be a feature of the new accommodation project that the Departments are currently pursuing.

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much (a) electricity, (b) gas and (c) other fuel has been used by (i) his Department and (ii) each of its agencies since his Department was established. (267332)

The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills was created on 28 June 2007. The total amount of electricity, gas and other fuel used in the Department's and its agencies' buildings are given in the following table. The figures for the Department itself are estimates, obtained by apportioning the energy consumption in each building according to the number of DIUS staff as a proportion of the total.

kWh

Fuel type

Intellectual Property Office (agency) June 2007 to March 2009

National Weights and Measures Laboratory (agency) June 2007 to February 2009

DIUS London building June 2007 to February 2009

DIUS Sheffield building June 2007 to February 2009

Electricity

5,912,250

995,257

3,184,181

1,795,272

Gas

3,224,020

0

1,587,894

20,173

Other fuel type

0

0

0

1,048,622 (steam)