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Energy Efficiency

Part of Bills Presented – in the House of Commons at 5:08 pm on 30th June 2010.

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Photo of Tobias Ellwood Tobias Ellwood Conservative, Bournemouth East 5:08 pm, 30th June 2010

The hon. Gentleman makes his point, but there is a distinction between the regulations that are expected to be adhered to during drilling in deep sea conditions using state of the art technology, and the bureaucracy and red tape that has stifled British business and which is quite separate from the safety regulations out at sea.

I had the pleasure of growing up in a number of countries, but mostly in Vienna, in Austria. It was interesting that in the 1980s measures such as insulation for new buildings, double glazing, and recycling using different wheelie bins were the norm there, yet it was only three years ago that such things were introduced in Bournemouth and the rest of the country, when our local authorities began to recognise the importance of recycling, energy saving and looking after our environment. As a nation, we are catching up with countries in Europe late in the day. That is why it is so critical for us to move forward on energy efficiency.

To me, the three principal elements of energy efficiency are how we supply and store energy, how efficiently we use that energy, and the lifestyle choices that we make by shifting away from energy-dependent activities-for example, how we use energy for heating, transport and electricity. I welcome some of the initiatives proposed in the coalition document, such as the establishment of a smart grid and the roll-out of smart meters.

It seems wrong that as we have looked to provide more efficient ways of charging for electricity, the people who have been punished most are the very poor, because of the charging systems and the meter systems, which have taken so long to provide them with the same benefits and deals that were available online to those of us who were able to use credit cards and standing orders.

I welcome the establishment of feed-in tariff systems for electricity. It makes sense that those who generate their own electricity can pump back any surplus electricity into the national grid and be paid for it. The creation of a green investment bank and home energy improvements paid for with the savings from lower energy bills provide an incentive to change attitudes and lifestyles.

I also welcome measures to encourage marine energy. I recently visited Felixstowe and saw some of the initiatives taken there and in other parts of Britain. It is sad that with one of the longest shorelines in the world, we have still failed to harness marine capability. We are starting to do that, placing wind turbines at sea. As a note specifically to Bournemouth, I visited Blackpool not long ago-

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