HC Deb 11 July 2002 vol 388 cc1116-7W
Mr. Stunell

To ask the hon. Member for Roxburgh and Berwickshire (Mr. Kirkwood), representing the House of Commons Commission, what steps the Commission has taken to promote energy conservation and efficiency within the parliamentary estate since 1997. [65723)

Mr. Kirkwood

One hundred and ten staff of the House have been given special responsibility for energy conservation and efficiency. They receive monthly data on the energy consumption in their respective parts of the estate and manage housekeeping economy measures—for example. by reporting damaged windows and faulty lamps, and ensuring lights and water heaters are switched off when not in use.

Some £30,000 has been invested each year in energy saving schemes. Recent examples include lighting occupancy sensors and thermal insulation. A contract has recently been let to replace the main Palace boilers and chillers with modern high efficiency plant over this summer recess and the summer recess of 2003. A combined heat and power plant provides electricity and domestic hot water to the Norman Shaw buildings.

Portcullis House was specifically designed to be energy efficient. Cooling for the air conditioning is obtained by drawing cold water from a deep aquifer. Heat exchangers recover energy from discharging warm to cool air. The thermal mass of walls, floors and ceilings balances out daily temperature changes. External light shelves reduce the need for daytime artificial lighting.