HC Deb 16 June 1986 vol 99 c739
1. Mr. Patchett

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he is satisfied wth the arrangements made for the promotion of energy efficiency by British Gas and the area electricity boards.

The Secretary of State for Energy (Mr. Peter Walker)

Yes. The gas and electricity industries have already organised over 200 events for Energy Efficiency Year. I am grateful to them and look forward to their further support in the next major stage of our initiative in the autumn.

Mr. Patchett

Will the Minister actively encourage British Gas to apply its huge surplus profits to improving customers' energy efficiency rather than the Government taking those profits to finance tax cuts?

Mr. Walker

British Gas has a vested interest to encourage the most efficient use of gas because, in competetion with electricity and oil, it is an essential thing to do, and British Gas is doing that.

Mr. Bruce

What are the implications of the concession made in another place that, after privatisation, British Gas will have specific responsibility to promote energy efficiency over and above what was written into the Bill in this House?

Mr. Walker

In the other place we have recognised that certain things which would take place might as well be expressed as taking place, and there is no doubt that British Gas will be doing that.

Mr. Rowlands

Are not British Gas and the electricity industry in a unique position to promote energy efficiency and such things as home energy audits? Is there not a duty on those major energy producers to encourage and develop efficiency and energy conservation on a much broader scale than is taking place?

Mr. Walker

More is being done by both industries than has ever been done. My answer to the main question illustrates that. I am delighted at the collaboration that is taking place.

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