asked Her Majesty's Government:
Further to the Written Statement by Lord Truscott on 21 November 2006 (WS 32), why £4.75 million is being transferred to the Department of Trade and Industry from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in respect of energy demand reduction trials; where the money is going; and whether it will be used for similar trials, or represents an underspend on trials that should have been carried out by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. [HL1265]
The 2006 Budget announced funding of £5 million to run smart metering trials. Following discussions with stakeholders, the Government decided that there was a strong case for expanding the trials in order to pilot approaches aimed at securing household behavioural changes that would result in a reduction in energy demand.
Defra agreed to contribute £4.75 million from the £20 million announced in the same Budget to support work on household energy efficiency. The decision to create a single pot of money was taken in order to maximise administrative efficiency and to ensure a single coherent framework for designing, tendering and monitoring the trials. Close interdepartmental co-ordination is ensured through a joint Department of Trade and Industry, Defra and Ofgem steering committee.