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House of Lords: Energy Conservation

Volume 715: debated on Wednesday 16 December 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask the Chairman of Committees what steps he will take to promote the energy conservation in the House of Lords; how the House of Lords will economise its use of energy; and whether heating will be adjusted as appropriate to the temperature. [HL726]

The Management Boards of both Houses have endorsed an Environmental Action Plan and are currently reviewing an environmental policy statement prepared by the Head of Fire Safety and Environment. The policy statement will be considered by the relevant domestic committees in early 2010. Work is also taking place to establish credible baseline figures against which emissions figures can be measured and to identify environmental opportunities across the Parliamentary Estate, including voltage optimisation and energy awareness. This will enable robust long-term environmental targets, including a carbon reduction target, to be set from 2010. Parliament's energy consumption and carbon emissions are already monitored on a monthly basis. In previous years, carbon emissions have risen year-on-year because of increased occupancy of the Parliamentary Estate, IT use and cooling loads, but they appear to be on course to decrease over the financial year 2009-10 for the first time.

In the last 18 months, building management systems controlling heating and cooling have been reconfigured; new remote energy meters, kitchen ventilation and lighting controls and energy efficient lighting and movement sensors have been installed; an insulation trial has been initiated as part of the cast iron roofs project; and a feasibility study of the energy supply options has been conducted. On the specific question of temperature, some radiators on the estate have temperature controls but the age of the buildings and the infrastructure make heating a difficult issue. It will be possible to improve the situation through refurbishment of primary and secondary systems over the coming years.