HC Deb 15 July 1985 vol 83 cc7-8
6. Mr. Knox

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on the resources he proposes to allocate for the promotion of Energy Efficiency Year 1986.

Mr. Peter Walker

The Energy Efficiency Office will be allocating more than £10 million to a range of promotional and demonstration activities. In addition, much greater resources will be provided by a whole range of interested organisations, industries and commercial concerns, which will all join in our national theme of energy efficiency. I anticipate that the overall allocation of resources to energy efficiency year will be substantial.

Mr. Knox

Are many of the ideas suggested in the energy study competition for schools likely to be implemented during energy efficiency year?

Mr. Walker

There were many good ideas in that competition. I am glad to say that, shortly after Question Time, I shall be giving tea to the winners on the Terrace and hearing their views.

Mr. Simon Hughes

In view of the Secretary of State's declared interest in welcoming Hainault high school, some of whose pupils are listening to our proceedings today, does he accept that the clear conclusion of its report is that people will invest in energy conservation if the capital outlay does not take too many years to recoup? Does he further accept that, at local level, we need a facility to allow that to happen, with local authorities as facilitators, the Department as the instigator and millions of people as the beneficiaries? Finally, does he accept that it is his responsibility to instigate such a programme during the next 12 to 18 months?

Mr. Walker

During the past year enormous progress has been made in obtaining the assistance of voluntary groups, especially low-income groups. We shall do all that we can to spread the success that has been achieved during the past 12 months.

Mr. Hannam

Will my right hon. Friend study the position in countries, such as the United States, Denmark and Australia, where the use of home audits has achieved dramatic improvements in energy conservation during the past few years?

Mr. Walker

The audit system is important, and we hope to make considerable progress in that area during the next 12 months.