HC Deb 03 April 1974 vol 871 cc369-70W
Mr. Cordle

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) whether, in view of the need to conserve all energy reserves, he will consider making grants available to private householders who wish to install double glazing;

(2) if he will seek powers to require all owners of industrial and commercial premises to install double glazing;

(3) if he will take steps to encourage and assist local authorities to install double glazing in all their offices and all council-owned houses;

(4) if he will introduce legislation to require all new buildings to be fitted with double glazing;

(5) if he will arrange for double glazing to be installed in all Government offices.

Mr. Freeson

Improvement grants may already be given for double glazing as part of an overall scheme of improvement to bring an older dwelling up to modern standards. Local authorities may also make loans for this purpose. Local authority dwellings qualify on the same basis. I am considering whether grants might be made available on a wider basis for thermal insulation generally.

Part III of the Health and Safety at Work etc., Bill will enable building regulations to require the use of double glazing in new buildings of all types, if this is necessary in the interests of safety, health, welfare or convenience or for conserving fuel and power. There is, however, advantage in the expression of building regulations in terms of performance requirements, leaving it to designers to decide on the methods and materials most acceptable to the building owner for meeting those requirements.

It would not be justifiable to install double glazing indiscriminately in Government offices, but I am prepared to consider it in cases where external noise can be mitigated or energy saved at reasonable cost. Local authorities may be expected to have similar consideratons in mind.

The Department has recently put in hand a study of how best to conserve energy in buildings, and the effectiveness of double glazing is among the matters being studied.