|I welcome this statement. As Nick Ramsay said, I have long been a supporter and advocate of invest-to-save, and I make no apologies for that. It is self-sustaining, encourages innovation and helps organisations make savings that they can further reinvest. What’s not to like about it? I’m also very pleased that the Minister accepted the Finance Committee’s recommendation that the minimum amount for invest-to-save was not increased, and I see that a number of small but very good projects have come through this year. There have been a number of LED street lighting projects and other energy saving measures. I cannot think of anywhere in Wales that would not actually benefit from such projects. What more can be done to get more organisations to use invest-to-save for such projects, which would be good for the environment and good for the organisations financially?
|I thank Mike Hedges for those questions. I think, again, the influence of, and the evidence taken by, the Finance Committee had an impact in terms of us understanding the importance of enabling smaller projects to continue to be developed and put forward for approval. In terms of energy efficiency development, alongside the Minister for Natural Resources, I think it is worth looking at the Minister’s written statement today on his energy efficiency strategy, where we can see how invest-to-save can dovetail. Particularly, he saw yesterday the example of Cardiff and Vale University Local Health Board children’s hospital installing LED lighting, and in the underground tunnels within the main University Hospital of Wales—£252,000 loan value, creating savings of £63,000 per year. Who wouldn’t adopt this in the health service? This is something, again, where, in terms of higher education, if one university does it, why aren’t they all following suit? We certainly want to make sure that this fund can respond to that kind of roll-out—and it would be a roll-out, if this worked effectively—of invest-to-save for energy efficiency, particularly with LED lighting replacement.