The Department of Energy is a small department by Civil Service standards with only about 1300 staff (including clerical staff), but its responsibilities, in addition to those given above, include areas with very high capital costs such as the nuclear power and oil industries. The ministerial head of the department is the Secretary of State for Energy, Tony Benn, and he is assisted by the Minister of State for Energy and two Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of State. On the Civil Service side, the department is headed by Sir Jack Rampton, the Permanent Under-Secretary of State. Although the Department of Energy as such only came into existence in January 1974, it has had a long history in government under a variety of other names. Areas of responsibility varied, too, as the importance of various energy sources grew or diminished.
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