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Energy: Government Buildings

Volume 692: debated on Tuesday 12 June 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What action they are taking to ensure maximum energy saving from lights, television screens and electrical and electronic equipment in government buildings. [HL4067]

Departments have adopted cross-government sustainable operations targets to reduce energy use across the central government estate. Other associated targets include making government offices carbon neutral by 2012 and reducing the Government's carbon emissions from their offices by 30 per cent by 2020.

The recently published UK Government Procurement Action Plan sets out plans about how the Government will move towards a sustainably built and managed estate that minimises carbon emissions and increases energy efficiency.

To deliver against the operations targets, departments are committed to buying energy efficient equipment, including lighting, for their buildings. Departments are also required to work with the Carbon Trust to identify energy savings and to purchase electrical equipment, including computers and televisions, that meet the recently updated list of environmental product standards (the “Quick-wins” list), which include requirements on power consumption in sleep-mode.

The DfES currently has a system in place for its offices which automatically turns off computer base units at pre-set times. Similarly, Defra is currently exploring the use of a tool automatically to shut down inactive computers at night.