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Energy: Efficiency

Volume 708: debated on Friday 27 February 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have taken recent measurements of United Kingdom household energy efficiencies; if so, how such figures compare with statistics for Germany and Sweden; and what conclusions they have drawn. [HL1529]

The Government have up-to-date data on domestic energy consumption published by DECC in Energy Trends and in the Digest of UK Energy Statistics (Dukes). However, these energy data are not themselves a measure of household energy efficiency. Indeed, it is difficult to talk of an absolute value of energy efficiency for an economic sector, although this can be done for specific energy-converting technologies or processes (for example, it is possible to quote the efficiency of electricity generation from a power station). It may, however, be possible to define improvements in energy efficiency for economic sectors. Generally, such improvements cannot be measured directly but must be calculated from a variety of other information.

The Government are updating their indicators of household energy efficiency using a combination of statistics on energy consumption and numbers of different technical efficiency measures installed, such as cavity wall insulation or high-efficiency boilers. These statistics are analysed using scientifically justified assumptions of energy savings of individual measures, together with mathematical modelling of energy use in typical homes. Using such analyses, the Government hope to publish their progress in improving the energy efficiency of the housing stock soon. But we do know that some 5 million homes have received insulation and that over 200 million energy efficient lights have been distributed.

Any international comparisons in the residential sector should be also be made on improvements in energy efficiency. The UK does contribute to an EU project (ODYSSEE, led by the French environment and energy management agency, ADEME), which has attempted these. However, the latest statistics from this project go only to 2005, so it is not yet possible to make up-to-date comparisons.