§ 6. Mr. Powley
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement concerning the construction of more energy-efficient commercial buildings.
§ Mr. David Hunt
My energy efficiency office is concerned to encourage the construction of energy-efficient commercial buildings and supports a range of 9 initiatives to improve the energy efficiency of new commercial buildings, in collaboration with professional groups and the industry.
§ Mr. Powley
I thank my hon. Friend for his constructive reply. Does he agree with me that if measures were taken along these lines there would be sufficient energy savings to produce a much more economical operation for the companies concerned? Does he agree also that it is necessary to involve architects and developers in the measures that he has outlined? Does he further agree that it is important to proceed along these lines to ensure a better working environment for those employed in such buildings?
§ Mr. David Hunt
I agree completely with my hon. Friend. All new buildings should incorporate the latest energy efficient designs. Consumer expectation has been raised by the development of low-energy buildings. However, it is calculated that industrial and commercial buildings waste £800 million a year, and that is why I recognised what my hon. Friend said, that we must work harder to gain the support of building professionals, through close collaboration.
Mr. Jim Callaghan
Will the Minister tell the House exactly what measures his Department will take to promote energy efficiency, not only in commercial buildings, but in old-age pensioners homes, to prevent the high number of deaths from hypothermia every dreadful winter?
§ Mr. Hunt
The Government have done more than any other Government, not just in providing heating allowances and heating support, but in ensuring that community insulation projects go from strength to strength. We are now aiming at such projects producing 8,000 jobs and insulating over 300,000 houses per year, particularly those belonging to people on low incomes.