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Departmental Energy

Volume 492: debated on Wednesday 20 May 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the energy use per full-time equivalent member of staff in his Department in (a) 2006-07 and (b) 2007-08. (276134)

Energy Efficiency data for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, for years 2006-07 and 2007-08 are presented in the following table. The increase in energy consumption per full-time equivalent member of staff is a result of improvements to DEFRA's space utilisation and a reduction in staff numbers. DEFRA staff now occupy a smaller footprint on the office estate which has resulted in an increase in energy useCO2 emissions per FTE.

Energy consumed by DEFRA estate (kWh)

Energy consumed per DEFRA FTE (kWh/FTE)







DEFRA has a programme in place to deliver operational carbon dioxide savings across its estate, with initiatives specifically targeted at improving energy efficiency:

DEFRA has installed 33 voltage regulation units on its estate. This technology significantly reduces energy consumption of a whole building by regulating the voltage level entering the building. Average electricity consumption has reduced by 12 per cent. per site as a result of installing this technology.

Other energy efficiency projects which have been implemented include upgrades to more efficient lighting, improvements to motor energy controls and gas boiler sequencing controls, all of which have delivered significant savings.

Thermal imaging surveys have been undertaken at a number of DEFRA properties. The results of the surveys will inform a programme of works to improve the thermal efficiency of buildings.

DEFRA is currently upgrading its electricity, gas and water meters to ‘Smart meters’ which will provide accurate and up to the minute consumption data. These data will be used to monitor and identify excessive consumption, providing a focus for strategic consumption reduction. The Carbon Trust estimate that savings of between 5 and 10 per cent. can be achieved through the identification of waste through Smart metering.

To further improve operational efficiency, DEFRA has recently revised its requirements for facilities management (FM) provision to incorporate a more sustainable approach to the FM service. The recent Sustainable Workplace Management contract awarded to Interserve, will further enhance DEFRA's capability to further embed sustainability in its operations.

DEFRA has adopted the Carbon Trust's Carbon Management Programme and the entire DEFRA estate, including laboratories, was awarded Energy Efficiency Accreditation Scheme (EEAS) certification in June 2007.