HC Deb 18 March 1991 vol 188 c26W
Mr. Colvin

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science which of his Ministers has been given responsibility for energy use by his Department; and what is his brief regarding energy efficiency.

Mr. Atkins

I am the Minister responsible for energy efficiency policy in the Department. The Department has a strategy to achieve energy savings totalling 15 per cent. in its offices which form part of the public estate, over a five-year period up to 1995. Savings will be achieved through various initiatives such as the installation of automatic sensors to reduce the amount of energy used, more effective monitoring of consumption, regular maintenance of plant, good housekeeping techniques, and poster, sticker and publicity campaigns. A building management system is being installed at the Department's new premises in Westminster.

Active encouragement has also been provided to conserve energy in educational buildings. Savings have been achieved by supporting development projects, dissemination of guidance on good practice, and commissioned research. LEAs are currently spending £43 million a year less in real terms on energy than they did in 1978–79.

Current initiatives include support for work being undertaken by the building research energy conservation support unit in connection with its four-year £1 million programme to save energy in schools. DES publications offering advice on how to make energy savings are also currently being prepared.