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Home Office energy use

The Home Office is committed to meeting the Prime Minister’s pledge to make this government the greenest government ever. As part of this commitment, we will be publishing figures on our real-time energy consumption.

'To be the greenest government ever' – David Cameron's pledge, 14 May 2010.

We are committed to meeting the Prime Minister’s pledge to make this government the greenest government ever. As part of this commitment, the Prime Minister set government departments the target of a 10 per cent reduction in emissions in 12 months (new window) and required them to display energy use online in real-time.

We were one of the first departments to provide public access to real-time energy use for its headquarters (2 Marsham Street). The live energy display (new window) updates every half hour and you can view electricity and gas consumption, cost and carbon dioxide emissions over different periods of time.  We are also providing the raw energy consumption data (new window), which is compiled once every 24 hours.

You can take a look at data.gov.uk (new window) to see other government departments' energy data.

Ten per cent reduction needed

The Prime Minister has committed central government to cutting emissions from its buildings by 10 per cent between 14 May 2010 and 13 May 2011. For the Home Office, this means the challenge of an 11 per cent reduction in emissions, or approximately 3,452 tonnes of carbon in 12 months.

Departments are required to report performance and plans to deliver the 10 per cent target to the efficiency and reform group in the Cabinet Office. You can see how the Home Office and other departments are performing at data.gov.uk (new window).

Join in

We all want to reduce carbon emissions. You can show your support for the department’s commitment to reduce emissions by emailing our sustainable development team at: sustainabilityenquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

Send in your name and message of support, or even your ideas on how the Home Office can reduce its own carbon emissions. We can receive support from individuals, businesses, public sector organisations and other organisations. You can look over some of the pledges already made by people at the Home Office.

So get in touch today - it only takes a moment.

Headquarters energy saving projects

2 Marsham Street houses the headquarters of the Home Office, UK Border Agency and Identity & Passport Service, this is about 4,000 to 5,000 occupants. Marsham Street, which opened in 2005, achieved recognition for its environmental credentials during construction and its current display energy certificate is an F rating (new window). Achieving a 4 per cent improvement in energy efficiency would raise the rating to E.

Energy saved so far

At our headquarters we have been working in conjunction with our facilities providers (Ecovert FM) and energy consultants (Energen) to change the way we work in order to save energy.

Some energy-saving measures have already been tried at our headquarters, so we can estimate how much carbon we're likely to save: 

  • altering plant operating times - predicted annual savings: 117 tonnes carbon or 1.6 per cent of 2009-10 emissions
  • changing building temperatures - predicted annual savings: 23 tonnes carbon or 0.3 per cent of 2009-10 emissions

Changing plant times

Fine-tuning the complex building control systems reduced the amount of time that heating and cooling systems operated.

The result of these on/off changes (Monday 5:30am – 6pm, and Tuesday to Friday 6am –  3pm), made on 29 July, can be seen in the half-hourly graph shown below.

It illustrates consumption every half hour on 29 July, compared with 30 July, after the changes were made.


Graph showing energy use in July

Changing building temperatures

The normal temperature in the building has been raised this summer, and it will be lowered in the winter, to minimise energy use for heating and cooling.

In addition, humidity levels have been reduced, so that less energy is used for humidification and water.

The changes can be seen in the graph below. It shows energy consumption every half hour on 1 July compared with consumption the next day. The changes were made at approximately 3pm. The dramatic change shown in the graph happened when the heat pumps were powered down.


Graph showing energy use July 1-2




We are happy to respond to any queries you have regarding our live energy data and our carbon reduction work. We would very much appreciate your feedback. Your views will help influence the way in which this work is developed both in this department and across the whole of government.  

To offer your views or raise queries please email the department’s sustainability team.

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