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Mr Greg Knight, supported by Sir Alan Beith, Kevin Brennan, John Hemming, Mr William Cash, Mr Gary Streeter, Mr Ian Liddell-Grainger, Chris Bryant, Mr Christopher Chope, Mr Alan Meale, Richard Ottaway and Philip Davies, presented a Bill to amend the law relating to the distribution of the estates of deceased persons; and for connected purposes.
Anna Soubry presented a Bill to prohibit the publication of certain information regarding persons who have been arrested until they have been charged with an offence; to set out the circumstances where such information can be published without committing an offence; and for connected purposes.
Harriett Baldwin, supported by Mr David Davis, Tracey Crouch, Bob Stewart, Andrea Leadsom, Esther McVey, Damian Hinds, David Tredinnick, Mr Peter Bone, Chris Heaton-Harris, Richard Graham and Mr Charles Walker, presented a Bill to require the Secretary of State, when preparing draft legislation for publication, to do so in such a way that the effect of that legislation on England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland is separately and clearly identified; to require the Secretary of State to issue a statement to the effect that in his or her view the provisions of the draft legislation are in accordance with certain principles relating to territorial extent; and for connected purposes.
Mr David Hamilton, supported by Sandra Osborne, Mr Jim Hood, Mr David Anderson, Jim Sheridan, Alun Michael, John Robertson, Jim McGovern, Ian Lavery, Mr Stephen Hepburn and Jack Dromey, presented a Bill to apply the provisions of the Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2004 to the construction industry; and for connected purposes.
Joan Walley, supported by Mr Adrian Sanders, Alison McGovern, Martin Caton, Caroline Lucas, Mark Lazarowicz, Peter Bottomley, Mr Mike Hancock and Annette Brooke, presented a Bill to make provision for the creation of a Code regarding the procurement of
sustainable food by public bodies; for the review and development of the Code; for the regulatory enforcement of the Code by public bodies; and for connected purposes.
Mrs Sharon Hodgson, supported by Mr Tom Watson, Chris Bryant, Paul Farrelly, Mr Russell Brown, David Wright, Mark Tami, Lyn Brown, Roberta Blackman-Woods, Mary Creagh, Rachel Reeves and Catherine McKinnell, presented a Bill to regulate the selling of tickets for certain sporting and cultural events; and for connected purposes.
Mr Adrian Sanders, supported by Sir Menzies Campbell, Martin Caton, Annette Brooke, Peter Bottomley, Stephen Williams, Jonathan Edwards, Dr John Pugh, Mr Tom Watson, Mr John Leech, Paul Flynn and Lorely Burt, presented a Bill to require landlords to provide smoke alarms in rented accommodation; and for connected purposes.
Andrew Bridgen, supported by Heather Wheeler, Nigel Mills, Paul Murphy, Nigel Adams and Mark Pritchard, presented a Bill to require planning authorities to impose a minimum distance between opencast mining developments and residential properties; and for connected purposes.
Mark Lancaster, supported by Mr Adam Holloway, Mr Stewart Jackson, Mr Lee Scott, Mr Brian Binley, Mr Tobias Ellwood, Alec Shelbrooke, Julian Sturdy, Iain Stewart, Chris Heaton-Harris, Mr Ben Wallace and Mr Rob Wilson, presented a Bill to make provision about the arrangements for measuring the standard weight of coins.
Lorely Burt, supported by Simon Hughes, Mr Lee Scott, Richard Burden, Stephen Williams, Mr Ian Liddell-Grainger, Mr George Mudie, Mr Mike Hancock, Heather Wheeler, Meg Munn, Mr Andrew Love and Jack Dromey, presented a Bill to ensure that ancillary pricing terms in personal financial services contracts can be assessed for fairness; and for connected purposes.
Nigel Adams, supported by Jonathan Reynolds, Greg Mulholland, Stuart Andrew, Gordon Henderson, Andrew Percy, Mike Weatherley, Andrew Stephenson, Stephen McPartland, Priti Patel, Philip Davies and Henry Smith, presented a Bill to enable local planning authorities to require planning permission prior to the demolition or change of use of premises or land used or formerly used to provide a local service; and for connected purposes.
Sir Paul Beresford presented a Bill to amend section 5 of the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 to include serious harm to a child or vulnerable adult; to make consequential amendments to the Act; and for connected purposes.
George Eustice presented a Bill to make provision regarding the rights of secured debtors; to reform the rights of certain creditors to enforce their security; to make other provision regarding secured lending; and for connected purposes.
That this House has considered the matter of progress and prospects in energy efficiency.
Within the first days of taking office, the Prime Minister pledged to make this new coalition the greenest Government ever, and we are determined to deliver on that promise. Energy efficiency, the subject of today's debate, is at the very heart of our greening programme. Better energy efficiency offers a genuine win-win, because it not only enhances the competitiveness of our economy, but is good for the environment in cutting carbon emissions. It is good for energy security in reducing our reliance on imported fossil fuels, and it is good for hard-pressed families, saving them money currently wasted heating inefficient and cold homes. Energy efficiency is not just a means to an end; it is a great thing in itself. In these times of rising bills and tight family budgets, there is one overarching simple truth: the cheapest energy we all have to pay for is the energy we do not use.
"Insulation is sexy stuff...Here's what's sexy about it: saving money".
In our own way-a more modest way-we are determined to make it sexy too, because for too long, energy efficiency has been the poor relation of British energy policy. Too many politicians have talked the talk, but failed to deliver. Energy efficiency has too frequently been relegated to the fluffy optional extra end of the energy policy agenda. Energy efficiency, however, is the key benchmark of a globally competitive 21st century economy.
Yet on the key test of energy efficiency, the UK currently trails behind most of our European competitors and risks slipping even further behind. If Members pardon the pun, we lag behind Germany, Holland, Spain and Italy, to name but a few. The average British home uses more energy than a home in Sweden-a country partly within the Arctic circle. One in five of our homes still has the lowest energy-efficiency rating.
Mr Angus Brendan MacNeil (Na h-Eileanan an Iar) (SNP): On the point of energy efficiency in comparison with Sweden, I understand that there is considerable use of heat pumps-both ground source and air source heat pumps-in Sweden. The previous Government gave assistance for the installation of heat pumps; will this Government continue in that vein?
Gregory Barker: We are very keen on heat pumps, but those pumps are not an energy-efficiency device; they are a renewable-energy device. Today, we are obviously concerned primarily about energy efficiency, but I take the hon. Gentleman's point on board, and we are certainly keen to encourage the use of a diverse range of new renewable technologies.
Mr MacNeil: Using 1 kW of electricity, an air source heat pump can generate 2.5 kW of heat and a ground source heat pump can generate up to 4 kW of heat. I would argue that that is quite an efficient use of energy.
Looking beyond homes, about one in 10 of our businesses and public buildings has a G rating and fewer than one in 100 has an A rating. Something must change, and it has got to change big and change now. But here is the good news: the UK has the potential to lead the way on energy efficiency, and our transformational agenda is a huge commercial opportunity worth billions of pounds for British business, with the potential for new jobs, technology and innovation in every single part of the UK. The challenge for our new Government is to spur consumers and businesses to take action, because, to date, successive Government programmes have simply failed to engage on the scale that we need. Some progress has been made in recent years, and I do not belittle the good intentions of the previous Administration, but despite some interesting initiatives, nothing we have seen so far has been commensurate with the enormous size of the challenge we face.
Mary Creagh (Wakefield) (Lab): I have received a letter from Mr Cameron Holroyd of Kingspan Solar in my constituency, which manufactures solar panels. He is very concerned that the new Government have not yet stated publicly whether they intend to proceed with the renewables heat obligation. Can the Minister tell us when he will respond to the recent consultation, and thereby give firms in my constituency, and consumers who may be planning to invest, some sort of comfort that that support will go ahead?
Gregory Barker: Renewable heat is a renewable form of generation; it is not equivalent to energy efficiency. However, we are committed to an ambitious renewable heat agenda. We have a challenging renewable energy target and renewable heat will be a key part of that. We will be looking at how to move forward and at having the right incentives in place. Because we are aware of the concerns of businesses, such as the one the hon. Lady mentions in her constituency, we will be making an announcement on this as soon as possible.
Barry Gardiner (Brent North) (Lab): I welcome the Minister to his position. He has taken a long and careful interest in the matters for which he has responsibility, and I welcome his enthusiasm. So far in this debate, however, he has been quick to parry any questions that are not specifically about energy efficiency and has responded in a very constrained manner. If we are to have the debate that all of us would wish this afternoon, we need to be able to discuss the energy context in which it takes place and the broader financial measures that will be available to the industry in the future, in order to consider the wider aspects of the green deal the Minister has talked about.
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