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Energy Efficiency

Part of Bills Presented – in the House of Commons at 12:46 pm on 30th June 2010.

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Photo of Gregory Barker Gregory Barker The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change 12:46 pm, 30th June 2010

That is an excellent subject for an Adjournment debate, but perhaps we have just had it. I entirely accept the hon. Lady's point, but ultimately the private sector is the best engine of ingenuity and growth, and it is not the role of Government to pick winners such as that company and give them special treatment. However, I agree that there is a role for Government in creating an enabling, encouraging and supportive framework for enterprise. I can assure her that increased cross-cutting work has been taking place across Government, involving colleagues from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Treasury and the Department for Education, to ensure that the right frameworks and the appropriate support are in place.

I shall now draw the House back to my speech. What needs to change? As a first step, I am announcing today my intention not only to extend CERT, but to refocus it radically. It obliges energy companies to carry out energy-efficiency measures in people's homes and it has historically involved a range of other things too. CERT will be extended until the end of 2012, but the original scheme has not been without criticism, much of it justified. So CERT will be refocused on those most cost-effective measures that can make a real difference to the energy efficiency of our constituents' homes, the most obvious being insulation.

Over the new extension period we will require the big energy companies to deliver far more insulation than originally planned, and the new target on lagging lofts alone will be the equivalent to covering Wembley football pitch more than 35,000 times. The new extension of CERT will work in tandem with the roll-out of our pioneering green deal. In order to bring greater focus to the project, I will insist that more than two thirds of this new carbon target must be delivered through approved, professionally installed loft, cavity wall and solid wall insulation. We will act to stamp out the mistakes of the past. We will introduce a complete ban on the subsidy of compact fluorescent lighting, thereby ending the farce of people having cupboards full of light bulbs which save no energy at all. We will go further. We are actively talking to industry about similar restrictions on other low-value gadgets and appliances. There will be no short cuts or get-outs for the big six under this Government.

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