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Departmental Energy

Volume 507: debated on Monday 8 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the estimated (a) amount and (b) cost was of energy used in her Department and its agencies in each year since 1997; what proportion of the energy used was generated from renewable sources in each of those years; and if she will make a statement. (317233)

The following table gives the amount of total energy consumed (electricity, fossil fuels and gas), the cost of that energy for each of the years 1999-2009 and the total electricity consumed (standard and renewable), for the Department for Work and Pensions and its Executive agencies, as reported in the Sustainable Operations on the Government Estate (SOGE) annual reports, and their predecessors.

Figures are only available from 1999-2000—the baseline year for the current carbon reduction targets. The first full year of DWP operations was 2002-03, following its creation in June 2001. Figures for earlier years are not available.

The term renewable energy refers only to electricity, which is shown as a percentage of the total electricity used in the following table. During the last year the proportion of renewable energy procured decreased due to increasing demand across the energy sector.

Total energy (kWh)

Cost (£ million)

Total electricity (kWh)

Renewable electricity (percentage)

2002-03

715,753,818

19.1

290,690,818

20.7

2003-04

730,615,118

20.4

329,573,118

33.1

2004-05

757,031,312

24.5

328,376,312

60.5

2005-06

702,573,363

29.6

327,460,763

62.9

2006-07

720,001,384

32.7

328,992,384

63.0

2007-08

598,909,215

29.7

287,936,215

79.7

2008-09

583,484,876

38.0

274,867,356

48.4

The Department will continue to work, in conjunction with its estates partners and other key stakeholders, to reduce its energy consumption and achieve its carbon budget. It will continue to source renewable energy as part of the pan-government energy procurement contracts which currently require 10 per cent. of energy from renewable sources coupled with 15 per cent. of energy from good quality combined heat and power.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps her Department plans to take to participate in the Earth Hour event on 27 March 2010. (319105)

DWP pays particular attention to any out-of-hours consumption of energy and we have registered to take part in this year's Earth Hour event, as we did in 2009. We will be working with our Estates Partner to ensure that the lights are off in our buildings from 8.30 pm on Saturday 27 March for one hour. We will also promote this event internally to our staff.