The Government's energy efficiency campaign requires all departments to reduce their energy consumption by 20% between 1990/91 and 1999/2000. In July 1992 MAFF's Management Board approved a Strategy for Energy Efficiency on the Department's estate centred around the designation of Energy Officers at individual sites. These were to devise and submit to the Departmental Energy Co-ordinator schemes aimed at achieving the necessary reduction in consumption by setting realistic targets, drawing up action plans and monitoring changes in consumption. Adjustments to the approach have been made subsequently, including the appointment of a technical expert to the central Energy Efficiency Unit to identify ways of improving the Departments performance in the campaign. Steps taken include establishing a reliable database to track energy consumption, specific energy saving measures such as insulation, lighting controls and new building services and improved staff awareness campaigns, including seminars for Energy Officers.
The Departments total energy bill is currently around £4.0m per annurn using, about 320 kWh/m2 of electricity and 630 kWh/m2 of fossil fuels on an estate of 342,000m2 . An Audit Commission recommendation that Departments' annual budgets for energy efficiency measures should amount to 10% of the annual energy expenditure has led to around £300k - £350k per annum being correspondingly 'ring fenced' for energy schemes across MAFF's estate. All departments submit annual energy returns to the DETR for analysis and the latest year's data, 1996/97, shows a 14% energy consumption reduction for the MAFF's main estate and a 6% reduction for its Laboratories compared with 1990 levels.