Renewable Energy

Department for Education written question – answered on 8th December 2014.

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Photo of Simon Kirby Simon Kirby Conservative, Brighton, Kemptown

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the capacity of her Department's buildings for the micro-generation of renewable energy; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

The Department for Education has assessed the feasibility of introducing renewable energy generation across its estate, and a range of micro-generation technologies have already been installed. In addition, as part of the Department’s proposed relocation to Old Admiralty Building in Central London in 2017, a renewable energy generation assessment is being undertaken.

A solar water heating system and solar photo-voltaic (PV) panels are in use at the London and Sheffield offices respectively, along with ground source heating at the Coventry office. The Department’s new office in Darlington, currently under construction by Darlington Borough Council, has also incorporated solar PV in the base-build.

The Department has also proposed that a number of its sites could be included in the Cabinet Office-led project for introducing further solar PV on the Government estate.

Parallel to work on renewable energy generation, the Department has implemented a more comprehensive Carbon Reduction programme, which has led to a 38% reduction in its greenhouse gas emissions since 2009-10. This has primarily been achieved through low and no cost energy efficiency measures, and operating offices more efficiently. In taking this action, we have reduced the annual energy bill by £1.4 million since 2009-10, and we continue to work towards identifying even greater efficiencies.

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