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Departmental Energy

Volume 495: debated on Wednesday 1 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much was spent on energy efficiency measures for his Department’s estate in each year from 2004 to 2009; what assessment has been made of the effectiveness of that expenditure; and what plans he has for future energy efficiency measures. (280535)

The Department is committed to the Sustainable Operations on the Government Estate (SOGE) targets which include a reduction in absolute carbon emissions, improve energy efficiency per m2 and action to apply the Building Research Establishments Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) to all of its own new build and major refurbishment projects.

Data on energy efficiency expenditure are not currently recorded separately, as implementation of these measures is generally carried out as part of wider design or refurbishment programmes. Overall progress against the SOGE targets is assessed by the Sustainable Development Commission for inclusion in their annual SDiG publication.

Recent examples of expenditure on energy efficiency include the installation of energy efficient lamps, and the upgrading of thermostatic controls to improve efficiency in certain buildings on the UK Border Agency (UKBA) estate in Croydon. Furthermore our newest office building, Vulcan House, a UKBA property, has a range of measures integrated into the design and construction to optimise energy efficiency including setting the orientation to mitigate the effects of solar gain, building fabric insulation and a thermally efficient envelope including a vegetation roof that acts as a thermal barrier in both winter and summer.

The Department has recently signed up to the Carbon Trust Management Programme which will assist us in identifying low and no-cost measures as well as further investment opportunities to improve efficiency on our estate. This programme is supported by a staff awareness campaign. We shall also be monitoring the effectiveness of the programme.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which official is responsible for the energy efficiency of his Department’s estate. (280555)

The permanent secretary, David Normington, has overall responsibility for the Department’s sustainable development policy, including energy efficiency. Each year the Home Secretary signs off the Department’s energy data for return to the Buildings Research Establishment.