HC Deb 23 October 2000 vol 355 c56W
Mr. Chaytor

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what steps he is taking to encourage the commercial sector to improve its energy efficiency. [133593]

Mr. Meacher

We are reviewing the energy provisions of the Building Regulations. We are considering responses to a recently completed consultation exercise on proposals to raise building energy performance standards, including in the non-domestic sector.

The Government's Energy Efficiency Best Practice programme offers a range of information and advice to encourage the commercial sector to improve its energy efficiency. This includes site specific and design advice services, publications, seminars, workshops, board-level briefings and a help-line for small and medium businesses.

Under the programme, we are also seeking voluntary agreements with organisations that can enter into a commitment to energy savings for a specific sector or sub-sector. Agreements, such as that in place with the hospitality sector, will encourage greater energy awareness and accountability through targeted dissemination and better sharing of best practice.

In addition to the Energy Efficiency Best Practice programme, as part of the climate change levy package, £27 million has been allocated to the promotion of energy efficiency, the provision of impartial advice, and support for research, development and demonstration. Improving energy efficiency in commercial buildings offers much scope for carbon savings and therefore will be an important component of the expanded energy efficiency and carbon abatement programmes.

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