HC Deb 07 July 1986 vol 101 cc8-9
6. Mr. Spencer

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on the progress so far of Energy Efficiency Year.

Mr. David Hunt

Energy Efficiency Year continues to make a strong impact. The "Monergy" logo, and the slogan "Get More for Your Monergy" are well established, and over 800 "Monergy" events have already take place. To reinforce the strong tide of interest, we shall be running a major autumn campaign of television and press advertising to coincide with the start of the heating season.

Mr. Spencer

Does my hon. Friend agree that in Energy Efficiency Year it would be a great breakthrough if he were able to accept the proposals of the combined heat and power consortium in Leicester?

Mr. Hunt

I am very grateful to my hon. and learned Friend for his constant lobbying and support for the consortium. Aware of the significance of this subject, I await with interest the consortium's report, which I understand is likely to be the first of the lead city consortia to complete work.

Mr. Evans

Will the Minister acknowledge that the prospects for Energy Efficiency Year would be greatly improved if local authorities had more finance available for loft insulating grants? Is he aware, for instance, that the St. Helen's authority is already informing its citizens that it can accept no more applications for such grants because it has no money left?

Mr. Hunt

I am very surprised to hear that, and I shall follow up that case immediately. As the hon. Gentleman will be aware, the history of the homes insulation scheme is, sadly, one of underspend. Indeed, the arrangements made by the Department of the Environment this year were primarily laid down to ensure that no local authority would run out of money. I shall, of course, investigate the point that he has made.

Mr. Speller

Does my hon. Friend not agree that for commerce and industry, Energy Efficiency Year is, frankly, the flattest of flat pancakes?

Mr. Hunt

The targets and the potential for industry and commerce are so enormous that any assessment of progress so far must of necessity be something of an anticlimax. But we have already been able to identify the fact that industry and commerce have been able to make savings of £500 million as a result of my Department's programmes.