Government exceeds its own energy-reduction target

Actively reducing CO2 emissions - central-Government departments have reduced emissions by 13.8% in a year

Within a year of taking office, the Government had exceeded its target of cutting 10% off CO2 emissions from the central-Government estate by 38% — with the overall reduction being 13.8% and representing over 100 000 t of CO2. Making the announcement, Prime Minister David Cameron told Whitehall that it would have to go further by cutting emissions by 25% by 2015.

Energy bills are estimated to have been reduced by £13 million. The 10% target covered around 300 000 civil servants in about 3000 buildings.

David Cameron said, ‘A 13.8% cut in emissions in just one year is a great result, and the civil service should be very proud of this achievement. But to be the greenest Government ever we need to do more to stamp out energy waste in Whitehall and make it easier for people and business to use energy more efficiently. That’s why I’m committing the Government to go further by reducing emissions by 25% by 2015.’

Chris Huhne, Energy & Climate Change Secretary, said, ‘This achievement has shown that we’re serious about leading by example and, when we promise to cut carbon, we mean it. This is only the start, and we’ve now got to go on and slash Whitehall’s emissions by a quarter by the end of this Parliament.’

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All 19 Government departments exceeded the 10% target, and the figures were weather corrected.

Top of the table was the Department for Education with a reduction of 21.5%.

The Department of Energy & Climate Change came a close second with 21.3%. Its contribution to overall savings, however, was the smallest of all the departments since it has the smallest energy consumption.

The biggest contribution to the overall figure came from the Department for Work and Pensions, which cut 14.2% off what was, and still is, the largest energy consumption. DWP reduced its CO2 emissions, in tonnes, by over a hundred times more that DECC. At the start of the year DWP’s emissions were 156 times greater than DECC’s, but rising to 170 times by the end of the year.

Graham Meeks, director of the Combined Heat & Power Association, welcomed the new target: ‘This new level of ambition is a real shot in the arm for the energy-efficiency industry. It provides the platform for a new period of expansion in the energy-efficiency and energy-services sector. With this will come new investment, new jobs and growing businesses.

‘The success to date simply underlines the massive opportunities that exist across the wider public estate to invest in energy saving and relieve pressure on hard-pressed budgets. Energy efficiency can deliver.’

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