Page last updated at 17:20 GMT, Wednesday, 30 June 2010 18:20 UK

Energy efficiency debate: part one

The government has pledged to make energy efficiency "sexy", telling energy firms that there will be "no short cuts or get-outs" from their role in making Britain greener.

Opening a debate on energy efficiency on 30 June 2010, climate change minister Gregory Barker announced that energy suppliers would be required to help insulate millions of homes to meet carbon reduction targets.

The move, which comes as an extension of the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) scheme, will be aimed at the poorest households ahead of the introduction of the government's "Green Deal" in late 2012.

Mr Barker told MPs that energy companies would have to meet more carbon reduction obligations through insulation, rather than by sending out or subsidising low-energy lightbulbs as in the past.

US President Barack Obama has described insulation as "sexy stuff" because it saves money and is good for the environment.

"In our own way, more modest way, we are determined to make it sexy too," Mr Barker said.

Shadow energy minister Joan Ruddock said Labour had made significant progress on energy efficiency over the last 13 years. She told Mr Barker that last year she announced an extension of CERT to 2012 and an "insulation minimum" to that new scheme.

"So I congratulate you on following through all of the things that I said would happen a year ago," she said.

"Overall, you are indeed fortunate to have such a good framework on which to lay your future plans," Ms Ruddock concluded.

Watch the second part of the debate here.

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