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Heating Bills

Volume 575: debated on Thursday 6 February 2014

This is a timely question, as a campaign has recently been launched to encourage all users of the estate, including hon. Members, to reduce energy use. All new estate projects are assessed for opportunities to improve energy efficiency in the Palace. Improvements are being made to temperature control and the efficiency of heating systems. There has been a successful pilot of roof insulation and a programme to refurbish windows is under way. Thermostatic radiator valves and occupancy sensors that shut down after a set period have been fitted in a number of areas across the estate.

We must all put up our hands and admit to our individual responsibility for contributing to the hot air generated in this place, but will the House of Commons Commission undertake a study of the financial savings for each degree that the thermostat was turned down?

My hon. Friend makes a very sensible suggestion, which I will certainly take away and find out the answer to, and do my utmost to implement.

Is it especially expensive to heat the Terrace marquee? I recently received a letter from a constituent about an event that I had agreed to sponsor for the Westminster Education Forum, which showed that it was charging people £45 plus VAT for the privilege of attending an event at this House of Commons. Is that acceptable, and is that a direct consequence of the current efforts to turn this place into a convention centre?

The hon. Gentleman asks about the heating in the Terrace marquee. I do not have an answer to hand; if I may, I will write to him with the correct answer.