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Departmental Energy

Volume 506: debated on Monday 1 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps his Department plans to take to participate in the Earth Hour event on 27 March 2010. (319089)

Communities and Local Government's Sustainable Operations Policy requires all equipment to be switched off when not in use. We are ensuring that this is being done by fitting timers and sensors to all non-networked equipment, using a centralised Building Energy Management System (BEMS), and conducting an ongoing energy efficiency awareness campaign.

However, the Department does not intend to specifically participate in Earth Hour's switch off. CLG's office lighting system is 15 years old and has reached the end of its useful life. Consequently, a proportion of its movement sensors have failed and some lights no longer switch off automatically. To address this, the Department is undertaking a comprehensive office lighting upgrade which is expected to achieve over 50 per cent. savings in lighting energy. Full participation in Earth Hour's switch off before the completion of this replacement project would involve initiating a total building power shutdown and this would be disproportionately expensive.