Our energy use

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office is working to reduce energy consumption and costs, and carbon emissions.

This information page was withdrawn on

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) was replaced by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) in September 2020. This FCO page is no longer current. Instead, see FCDO energy use information.

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 electrical heating, lighting and power. Due to a technical issue gas and heat usage cannot currently be output in real time.

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 0.12% of King Charles Street energy consumption. Whitehall District Heat accounts for 28% of King Charles Street energy consumption.

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

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

  • 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
  • investing in the energy efficiency of the Hanslope Park data-centres

The FCO encourages staff to:

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

The FCO hold an ISO14001-certified Environmental management system (EMS) certificate (PDF, 246 KB, 2 pages) that covers the FCO’s UK Estate. At the heart of the EMS is the Environment policy statement (ODT, 7.88 KB).

All government departments work to achieve Greener Government Commitments targets. The FCO has a target to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 46% by financial year 2019 to 2020 compared to a 2009 to 2010 baseline. By the end of financial year 2016 to 2017, the FCO had cut its (GHG) emissions by 39%.

FCO display energy certificate

Environment policy statement

Environmental management system (EMS) certificate

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