Our energy use

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office's measures to reduce energy consumption and costs, and carbon emissions

We publish energy consumption data for our headquarters building once every 24 hours. The data shows the electricity consumed at the department’s King Charles Street building on Whitehall. It captures the energy required for heating, lighting and power. Due to a fault on our data collection equipment, gas and heat usage cannot currently be output in real time. We are investigating the cause of this and hope that the data will be restored by the end of December.

Gas is only currently used for cooking in the commercial kitchens and for providing domestic hot water and winter heating to one small area of the building, and its usage is equivalent to a domestic environment. Gas use accounts for only 1.7% of King Charles Street energy consumption. Whitehall District Heat accounts for 32% of King Charles Street energy consumption.

See how much energy is being used for heating, lighting and power in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office headquarters building.

To make FCO’s UK estate more energy efficient, we are:

  • researching a combined heating, cooling and power plant in the FCO’s HQ
  • diverting previously expelled warm air from tunnels to the Main Building atrium
  • installing Automated Meter Reading equipment to help identify energy saving opportunities
  • installing voltage regulation equipment in all our main sites
  • installing more LED and other energy efficient lighting and sensor controls across the UK estate
  • installing energy efficient equipment such as variable speed drives on fans and pumps
  • analysing the energy efficiency of the Hanslope Park data-centres
  • moving out of the Old Admiralty Building, which should result in net CO2 savings

The FCO encourages staff to:

  • switch off lights and equipment when the leaving the office
  • support ‘Switch Off’ campaigns during Climate Week
  • use the video and telephone conferencing facilities instead of travelling to a meeting

All government departments have a Greener Government Commitments target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by financial year 2014 to 2015 compared to a 2009 to 2010 baseline. By the end of financial year 2011 to 2012, the FCO had cut its emissions by 19%.