My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced on 7 March a new best practice programme which aims to spread and advance best practice in energy efficiency. This programme began on 1 April and replaced the energy efficiency demonstration and research and development schemes.
My right hon. Friend has not precisely answered the question, which was whether he would list forms of additional assistance. I am well aware of the packages. Does he accept that there are two predominant forms of energy efficiency which we should seek to encourage: first, energy audit in the home and the workplace, to save some fuel; and, secondly, energy labelling on all machinery and appliances, to save energy and costs and, in the long term, to reduce the need for new generation?
I agree with my hon. Friend in this respect: it is up to the individual, company or commercial organisation to see to their own energy efficiency, and that is where our programmes are directed. However, I would not go the whole way with my hon. Friend's suggestion. It would entail unnecessary bureaucracy which could prove tedious and turn people against energy efficiency.
Does my right hon. Friend agree that the public sector is setting the most appalling example of the economic use of energy? If he will look above him, he will see 150 powerful lights burning to keep this Chamber illuminated to a degree which is quite unnecessary. If my right hon. Friend goes round Government Departments in London and outside it, he will find, on the brightest day of the year at 12 noon, lights on in almost every building. Will he do something serious about this appalling waste?
I always try to follow my hon. Friend's example. I know that when he was a Minister he assiduously used to go round his Department turning out unnecessary lights. We should all follow that example. I hope that he was pleased with the announcement on 20 July by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Energy. In answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Exeter (Mr. Hannam), who asked whether he would make a statement on the campaign to promote energy efficiency in the public sector, my right hon. Friend gave a long answer which promoted precisely what he, I and my hon. Friend the Member for Eastbourne (Mr. Gow) would want.