What is it?
Parliament launched a new initiative in February 2014 which embraced the challenge of improving energy efficiency and environmental awareness to:
- save public money;
- cut out waste, and;
- show leadership.
Why was this programme launched?
The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has calculated that cost-effective investment in energy efficiency could save 22 power stations’ worth of electricity by 2020. And with energy prices having increased by 25% since 2008/09, the need to reduce our energy wastage has never been greater. Parliament therefore intends to tackle this issue head on by generating and implementing fresh ideas that will help it reduce waste and energy consumption. It plans to share its ideas and successes so that others can achieve similar savings.
What does this initiative mean?
Parliament’s environment team led the efforts to tackle this challenge, with the support of the charity Global Action Plan and social enterprise CarbonCulture.
Members and staff were invited to offer ideas, challenges and insights on how the Estate can achieve excellent energy efficiency. A selection of these suggestions can be found on the right hand side of this page.
Why did Parliament use external support?
Parliament is proud of the achievements it has made so far, for example, alterations to the Victoria Tower floodlights have resulted in efficiency gains, whilst maintaining light levels and appearance, and the installation of automatic loggers on all water, gas and electrical supplies will improve our monitoring and identification of leaks and other wastage. However, meeting Parliament’s energy commitment and targets will require new thinking and collective action across the Estate. This challenge requires the collaborative creation and implementation of energy efficiency plans and measures, for which the two organisations provide specialist support.
How long will the initiative last?
Parliament has made a long term commitment to reducing its environmental impact, through reducing waste generation, water consumption and energy consumption. These targets run to the financial year 2020/21. The initial phase of the long term commitment where all of Parliament’s occupants are given the opportunity to formally contribute to those targets for the first time ran through to September 2014 with the external support, but the Environment Team will be continuing to lead the push to hit those targets right through to 2020/21. While work is still being undertaken on energy saving the programme will further develop to encompass other environmental themes with the focus moving to waste and recycling over the Spring/Summer of 2015.