Energy Saving

Oral Answers to Questions — Energy – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 15th July 1991.

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Photo of Harry Cohen Harry Cohen , Leyton 12:00 am, 15th July 1991

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what grants his Department gives to organisations to undertake energy-saving measures in homes.

Photo of David Heathcoat-Amory David Heathcoat-Amory , Wells

My Department gives grants under the home energy efficiency scheme, which provides insulation measures to low-income households. Some £26 million is available under the scheme this year.

Photo of Harry Cohen Harry Cohen , Leyton

The Minister did not say how much is being spent, so his answer is cold comfort for the many householders on low incomes. Have not the Government punctured energy efficiency efforts in the home by voluntary and public organisations and the electricity and gas companies? Does he agree that there is scope for much more home insulation and for more energy-saving measures and would not it make environmental sense to do that? Are not the Tories too bloody mean to be green?

Photo of Mr Bernard Weatherill Mr Bernard Weatherill , Croydon North East

Order. Those are not unparliamentary words, but they are distasteful and unnecessary in the Chamber.

Photo of Harry Cohen Harry Cohen , Leyton

They are too mean to be green.

Photo of David Heathcoat-Amory David Heathcoat-Amory , Wells

I agree with the hon. Gentleman that it makes environmental sense to be more energy efficient. Our home energy efficiency scheme will enable 200,000 houses a year to receive insulation and energy efficiency advice, which is a substantial advance on any other year and on what was done by any previous Government.

Photo of Mr Geoffrey Dickens Mr Geoffrey Dickens , Littleborough and Saddleworth

Does my hon. Friend agree that we need no lectures from the Opposition on energy efficiency, because the last time there was a Labour Government, they spent £2·4 million on energy efficiency, whereas today, under the Conservative Government, the figure stands at £40 million? Does my hon. Friend agree that we are doing something about energy efficiency, which was always neglected by Labour Governments?

Photo of David Heathcoat-Amory David Heathcoat-Amory , Wells

That is a typically sound point from my hon. Friend. I confirm that my Department's expenditure on energy efficiency has increased eightfold since 1979 when the Government took office.