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Council on Line to meet Energy Management Targets

23rd August 2007

Energy management measures are beginning to pay dividends for The Highland Council and further investments are proposed to meet targets set by the Council's Administration to reduce energy use and carbon emissions by 15% and increase renewable energy sources by a minimum of 4,000 kw by 2010.

The Highland Council's Resources Committee was told this week that at the end of the first year of the Council's energy management performance plan, an overall decrease in energy consumption of 16% was achieved and almost 1 million of costs avoided. This partially compensated for significant rises in the costs of electricity, gas and oil.

This, in part, was due to encouraging evidence of a successful campaign - aimed at staff - to switch off lights and equipment when not in use and make more efficient use of electricity for heat.

At the same time, the Council is increasing the installed capacity of renewable energy equipment in Council buildings, with 900kw completed or in the pipeline. It is installing wind turbines, solar panels, biomass boilers and air source and ground source heat pumps at a number of primary and secondary schools and offices.

The Council has also invested 356,000 on draught proofing; lighting controls; thermostatic radiator values and oil meters to reduce energy costs.

In aiming to remain on target to meet the targets of its five-year plan, the Committee agreed to invest: -

500,000 on two containerised biomass energy plants for school buildings;
30,000 on pilot solar thermal water heating for Council swimming pools;
150,000 on site studies and appraisal to develop a full programme of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects within its 100 most-used properties;
Councillor Carolyn Wilson, Chairman of the Resources Committee, said: "The new administration obviously realises these are huge issues which effect people all over the Highlands and as a Council we should be taking the lead by reducing our carbon footprint ain our own buildings and increasing our renewable energy output."

 

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