§ Mr. Golding
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will take steps designed to ensure that the installation of energy-saving devices in buildings does not lead to an increase in rateable value.
§ Mr. John Silkin
Section 21 of the Local Government Act 1974 and the Rating of Minor Structural Alterations to Dwellings (Specified Amount) Order 1974 already provide for the disregard between revaluations of structural improvements to domestic property which do not increase the rental value by more than £30. I have no plans at present to extend these provisions.34W
§ Mr. Moonman
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he is satisfied with the progress of his energy-saving campaign with particular regard to flats and houses.
§ Mr. Freeson
Implementation of the interim measures announced by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Energy on 9th December is proceeding satisfactorily in the areas for which my Department is responsible but, as he said, much more needs to be done.
In the housing field amendments to the building regulations have been laid before the House which will roughly double the amount of insulation required in newly constructed or altered dwellings, and we are urgently considering how best to make use of our new powers to make building regulations specifically for the purpose of fuel conservation. In respect of the existing housing stock owners are being advised how, in their own and the national interest, they may conserve energy.
So that public and private investment in energy saving may be best applied an extensive research programme is in hand, and further measures, mandatory or advisory, will be pursued as appropriate.