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Departmental Energy

Volume 491: debated on Wednesday 22 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) 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; (266758)

(2) 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.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has draught-proofed the windows in our London offices and reduced office heating in the UK from approximately 24°C to a target of 21°C this winter. We are currently undertaking a thermal survey of our UK estate in order to identify further opportunities to reduce heat loss.

In June 2008 we constructed a new information communications technology building at Hanslope Park in Buckinghamshire. This building is a high thermal mass structure, with exposed concrete ceilings that absorb at night the heat generated by the building during the day and selected elevations have solar shading to minimise the heat gain from the sun. The building also contains passive cooling systems using chilled ceiling beams. In winter the building is heated using waste heat recovered by heat exchangers from the data halls.

This building won two Datacentre Leaders Awards for Innovation in 2008. This new building partially replaces three thermally inefficient pre-fabricated buildings which have been decommissioned; a further such building will be decommissioned by the end of 2011.

At Wilton Park measures including repairing window frames, installing thermostatic temperature control valves to radiators and new boiler controls have been taken to improve thermal efficiency.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much (a) electricity, (b) gas and (c) other fuel was used by (i) his Department and (ii) each of its agencies in each of the last 10 years. (267334)

Information on the worldwide use of electricity, gas and other fuels by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and its agencies in each of the last 10 years is not held centrally and it would not be possible to provide this information without incurring disproportionate cost.

The following table provides all the available data for the UK FCO estate and Wilton Park. FCO services energy usage cannot be extracted from the remainder of the UK FCO estate without incurring disproportionate cost.

1999-2000

2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

FCO (inc FCO services)

Electricity (kWh)

17317198

16395548

17193208

18636612

18717254

19457515

20756930

22578615

23524791

Gas (kWh)

n/k

1838096

1663895

1689517

1490484

1616136

1679115

1341891

1153023

Oil (kWh)

n/k

2637032

4552078

4503978

4459440

3878744

4732676

3291842

4280027

Heat (kWh)

n/k

4365330

5306887

7116929

6475252

6636479

7146240

5290430

5677120

Wilton Park

Electricity (kWh)

n/k

n/k

n/k

330000

398716

411676

439213

451972

414771

Gas (kWh)

n/k

501626

437841

469730

423842

406431

423272

402785

419166

Oil (Litres)

n/k

51198

57230

57310

56500

52900

58088

59412

28000

Woodchip (Tonnes)

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

130

Notes:

1. Heating for the bulk of the London Estate is supplied by the Whitehall district heating system.

2. Where the value is stated as n/k, the information is not currently available in this format and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

3. Where the value is stated as n/a, which refers to woodchip at Wilton Park, this refers to a new facility introduced in 2007-08.