HC Deb 23 February 1981 vol 999 cc647-8
15. Mr. Hannam

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what representations he has received from the insulation industry concerning the effectiveness of the conservation programme; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Moore

The Government have regular contacts with all sectors of the insulation industry. We believe that our energy conservation policy will result in a continuing and expanding market for the industry.

Mr. Hannam

Does my hon. Friend accept that the change in the system of housing improvement finance has meant that there has been a drop in the number of insulation improvements carried out in public sector housing? Will he consult the Secretary of State for the Environment with a view to restoring specific allocations of housing grants for local authorities for public sector housing?

Mr. Moore

Although there has been a drop, it has been somewhat exaggerated in comments by the industry. The take-up seems to be nearer 60 per cent. than the 33 per cent. that the industry's figures suggest. It is not fair to observe that that necessarily arises from a change in the system of allocation. However, I obviously share my hon. Friend's concern about any reduction in local authority insulating standards.