Cameron focuses on energy efficiency

11th March 2013

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Energy-savvy businesses will win the race for limited resources, the prime minister said at the launch of Decc's energy efficiency mission

“Businesses that are best insulated from energy price shocks will be the most successful,” David Cameron argued, noting that energy consumption is forecast to grow by one-third over the next two decades.

The mission aims to make the UK the most energy efficient economy in Europe, by pulling together various government policies – from the green deal and green investment bank to the smart meter programme and the electricity market reform – into a coherent whole rather than a series of disjointed schemes.

“There is so much to this ambitious, exciting agenda – but if we are honest, we are not telling the story effectively,” conceded energy minister Greg Barker.

“We see energy efficiency as always being the policy call of choice when it is the cheapest option,” he added.

Meanwhile, Marks & Spencer has announced that all of its new outlets will have “green” clauses as standard in lease agreements to help the retailer meet its Plan A commitment to reduce energy use in M&S stores, offices and warehouses by 35% against 2007 levels by 2015.

At the same time, the retailer has agreed to include similar green clauses in the leases of 70 existing stores, in a deal with the Better Buildings Partnership – a collaboration of the UK’s leading commercial property owners working together to improve the sustainability of the existing commercial building stock.

“Big carbon reductions from the UK’s building stock cannot come only from new stores. Seventy per cent of current commercial buildings will still exist in 2050, so if we are genuinely going to tackle the problem we have to invest in eco-solutions for existing buildings,” said Clem Constantine, Marks & Spencer’s director of property.

The clauses will facilitate the sharing of information and data between the landlord and the retailer on electricity and gas use, as well as water consumption and waste streams. M&S aims to generate significant carbon reductions and encourage investment in energy-efficient building technologies through the initiative.

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