High-street stores to advise government on energy use

Some high-street stores have been asked to advise government on financial savings by cutting energy use.
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Aug. 5, 2010 - PRLog -- Companies such as Tesco, B&Q owners Kingfisher and HSBC have been given a special role in helping ministers meet their pledge to cut energy use across government by 10% in their first year in office. The pledge was one of the very first promises of the new coalition and was "inspired by 10:10".

Departments are embarking on a range of measures under the guidance of the high-street stores that will be outlined today. The measures range from the straightforward-but-important business of installing motion sensors so lights go out when offices are empty, to inter-department competitions and pep talks by inspirational speakers to persuade staff to do their bit by boiling less water or taking the stairs instead of the lift. Although primarily seen as a green policy, led by one of the two environmental departments, the financial savings are the focus, said Greg Barker, the Conservative climate minister.

Barker said: "There's an absolute imperative in making sure these financial savings come from energy bills and not from elsewhere; so that really focuses minds." He also added, referring to tough budget cuts to be announced this autumn: "Also if they can cut this there will be more money for frontline services."

According to Barker, energy reductions would continue in a longer term and eventually departments could cut energy use so low that government could generate more power than it uses from renewable sources on its land and buildings.

Following the announcement done by Cameron that his government would be the "greenest ever", a cross-government committee was set up to oversee the new goal. As well as 19 central departments, Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Kingfisher, HSBC and EDF Energy have also been given seats. Perhaps the most important lesson from M&S has been the importance of ongoing leadership from the top, said Barker.

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