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Strategy aimed at reducing county council's energy bill
A NEW strategy aimed at reducing Hampshire County Council’s huge bill for energy is set to be agreed.
The long-term energy strategy is an attempt by the council to stem the massive bill for energy across its 670 sites.
It spent £15.7m on energy across those sites in 2011, including £11.5m on school buildings.
With energy prices forecast to increase by 50 per cent above inflation by 2030, the £4.2m spent on energy in non-school buildings could escalate to a massive £16m by 2030 if steps are not taken to tackle the issue.
Some 178 sites, which also include residential care homes, museums and libraries and offices, currently have gas and electricity bills of more than £20,000 a year.
The new strategy, which will be discussed at today’s Cabinet meeting, aims to build on the interim energy strategy agreed in February 2012.
The council also hopes that the strategy will be one which could reduce carbon emissions and offer local communities access to secure, affordable or low carbon energy.
The county council has three energy-from-waste recovery facilities that already produce energy, powering 53,000 homes, and there are also new opportunities for the council to become involved in generating and selling energy.
Programmes of insulation will be implemented and other options include investing in community energy generation, more efficient energy generation technology, and developing new projects that improve the way energy is used in Hampshire.
Hampshire County Council leader Councillor Ken Thornber said: “We currently spend in the region of £15.7m on energy across our whole estate, with schools accounting for most of this.
“Rising energy bills are a significant concern, particularly with the continued cuts in funding for the foreseeable future.
“It therefore makes good sense to look at how we can save energy to drive down costs and cut carbon emissions, as well as potentially generating our own energy.”