Department for Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 9th December 2014.

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Photo of Simon Kirby Simon Kirby Conservative, Brighton, Kemptown

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what steps he has taken to insulate his departmental estate in order to improve energy efficiency; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Jo Swinson Jo Swinson Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Department for Education) (Women and Equalities) , The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has not made any recent changes to the insulation of the departmental estate, however a number of steps have been taken to improve energy efficiency.

The Department currently uses energy monitoring software to examine energy usage at a number of BIS sites. This provides daily consumption data and enables estate management to reduce usage and optimise building services.

Building Management Systems are also installed across the estate, providing live data to engineers on building performance and energy demand throughout each building.

The Department has a number of renewable energy installations installed which support the department to reduce carbon and increase efficiency. The Biomass boiler at Companies House in Cardiff produces 88% of heating for the building, saving 227 tonnes of carbon per annum. The scheme has become an Ofgem case study and Carbon Trust Exemplar.

An ongoing initiative aimed at reducing energy consumption in the BIS core building is the partial Christmas shutdown at 1 Victoria Street. This has been implemented since 2011. The main areas of focus are the reduction of operational workspace in the building, reducing heating and cooling load by disabling most of the heating zones and reducing the number of operational lifts. BIS has saved approximately £12,000 and 80 tonnes of CO2. This year, in order to increase further energy savings, the feasibility of implementing this across further sites is being investigated.

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