My Department's energy efficiency office continues to make grants of up to 50 per cent. towards the cost of energy surveys of non-domestic premises under the energy efficiency survey scheme. The energy efficiency office has supported the development of home energy audits, some of which are currently available to the public.
I congratulate my hon. Friend on his successes in the industrial and commercial sector. Will he accept that we need a similar system to that operated in the United States, whereby anybody in the domestic sector can get a home energy audit done for only $15 through local electricity and gas companies? Would it not be desirable to introduce this system here? Pending the time when it is introduced, will my hon. Friend look at the position of local authorities and exert maximum pressure on them to ensure that their stock of housing is brought up to a reasonable standard?
My hon. Friend is right to stress the need to learn lessons from others, and I have been able so see at first hand in Sweden and Denmark the progress made there in energy efficiency in the domestic sector. A number of lessons still need to be learnt, and my hon. Friend is right to stress the importance of encouraging home energy efficiency labelling and to show our acceptance of the fact that it is in the local authorities that considerable savings can be made.