I congratulate the Minister on his translation to this important post and wish him an enjoyable but short tenure of it. Will he consider whether enough is being done to bring home to individual members of the public the urgency of this whole problem, for example, through local energy-saving campaigns? If not, is it not time that the Government did more in that direction?
I thank the hon. Gentleman for his kind remarks. I know that my stay will be enjoyable. I hope that it will be long as well.
It cannot be over-emphasised how important this campaign is, not only to the temporary position with regard to energy but to the whole of our future energy policy. One of the recommendations that we are looking at is for local committees.
In any publicity in this regard, will the Minister ensure that the elderly, the sick and those with young children are reminded of the importance of proper heating provision? Despite the departure of the former Under-Secretary Lord Lovell-Davis, from the Department of Energy, may I be assured that the inquiry that he is heading is continuing with all speed?
Yes. I have taken that over from my noble predecessor, and a report will be produced for the House before the end of this month. As regards the "Save It" campaign in general, one of the important aspects of energy conservation is the way in which people can be kept warm enough and yet at the sane time energy can be saved. That can be done by proper insulation, and so on.
Will my hon. Friend consider the basic question of competition between gas and electricity in relation to the energy-saving campaign, and especially in relation to new housing estates where local authorities have a responsibility to ensure that the maximum amount of energy is saved, but not by competition between two different sources?