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Departmental Energy

Volume 491: debated on Thursday 23 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps have been taken by his Department to improve the thermal efficiency of its buildings in the last 12 months. (266761)

The Department for International Development (DFID) has taken a number of measures to improve the thermal efficiency of our buildings over the last year. These include:

Refined the plant run times to ensure that heating and cooling is only in operation when absolutely necessary;

Conducting a thermography survey of our headquarters building to identify any areas of heat loss through the external walls, and also any possible issues due to imbalances in electrical equipment or incorrect operation/ventilation of equipment;

Reviewed and reduced the heating set point in some areas of our buildings;

Installed vents in IT server rooms to make use of free cooling where possible;

Reduced the hot water temperature in our headquarters building.

The net impact of these and other measures are that our consumption of gas in our UK buildings will have reduced by 9 per cent. in 2008-09 compared to the prior year.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development 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. (266877)

Based on the latest figures for 2008-09, the energy use of the Department for International Development's (DFID) UK estate per square metre is 10 per cent. higher than the 1999-2000 levels.

The increase in energy per square metre is to a significant extent attributable to the fact that our staff per square metre has increased by 15 per cent. over this time, inevitably increasing the energy used through the number of computers and other electrical goods per square metre.

We now have more centralised IT systems in the UK which serve our overseas offices, and have invested significantly in other technologies such as video-conferencing which have resulted in efficiency and carbon savings.