HC Deb 30 January 2002 vol 379 cc354-5W
Ms Walley

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the processes and initiatives by which the Government are encouraging the take-up of energy efficient techniques in industry. [7316]

Mr. Meacher

The climate change levy, a major component of the UK's climate change programme, was introduced on 1 April 2001 to encourage energy efficiency in industry. Climate change agreements with the most energy intensive sectors set challenging targets for reductions in energy consumption in return for an 80 per cent, reduction in the levy. The proceeds of the levy will be recycled to industry through a 0.3 percentage point reduction in national insurance contributions, and also through the provision of funds for the Carbon Trust.

The Carbon Trust is a not-for-profit organisation, set up by the Government and the devolved Administrations to develop a clear framework to encourage the use of low-carbon technologies in the industry sector. The trust will take over management of the Government's Energy Efficiency Best Practice that has been running since 1989 as the UK's main source of energy efficiency information, providing best practice advice and support to organisations in the public and private sectors. The trust will also manage the enhanced capital allowance scheme that gives 100 per cent. first year capital allowances for businesses investing in approved energy saving equipment. Additionally the Carbon Trust will develop a low carbon innovation programme that will support new and emerging low-carbon technologies.

Combined heat and power is another vital component of the Government's strategy to enhance the energy efficiency of the UK economy. The CHP quality assurance programme assesses "Good Quality" CHP production that is energy efficient in operation. This provides a passport to climate change levy exemptions and other benefits which encourage the take-up of CHP and contribute to the Government's 2010 target of 10,000 megawatts of installed Good Quality CHP.