12. Mr. Alan W. Williams
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what is the total spent by his Department in the current financial year on promoting energy efficiency.
§ Mr. Wakeham
Forecast outturn expenditure by the Energy Efficiency Office in 1990–91 is £23.4 million. That represents a substantial increase on expenditure last year of £15 million.
Will the Minister examine the serious decline in the energy efficiency industry? Figures published recently by the Association for the Conservation of Energy show a 20 per cent. fall in the demand for heating control since 1987, a 34 per cent. fall in the demand for double glazing and a 49 per cent. fall in demand for cavity wall insulation. How can the Government claim to be taking energy efficiency seriously when the industry is in such a serious decline?
§ Mr. Wakeham
The hon. Gentleman quotes some figures which I do not deny, although I have not checked their accuracy. However, those figures relate to the construction industry and are not out of line with the general cuts in that industry. We have increased our expenditure on energy efficiency. We are anxious to improve energy efficiency because we believe that that is far and away the most important way in which to deal with problems of global warming and CO2. It is important for the hon. Gentleman to remember that the progress of that policy so far has been very encouraging. Over the past 10 years GDP has increased by 25 per cent. while energy consumption is almost unchanged.