Northamptonshire County Council has secured two new ‘green’ energy contracts with the buying group, Laser. The contracts will cover all council buildings and street lighting, and will cost £12m over the next 4 years.
The new contracts fall in line with the council’s target to make Northamptonshire climate neutral by 2030, and means the council will have zero carbon emissions from its property and street lighting.
Over the past 10 years the county council has reduced carbon emissions – a principal cause of climate change – by 72 per cent, mainly achieved by taking action to reduce energy usage in its assets, and around 600 smart meters have been installed in council premises.
Measures are currently underway to reduce transport emissions, including the Smart Move Northamptonshire initiative which helps raise awareness of, and support for, greener modes of travel. This includes promoting active travel and e-bikes and introducing on-street charging points for Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEVs).
The council has also sought approval to extend the scope of the green energy contract to include other public sector bodies and trusts within the county, including health care providers, Police, leisure trusts and care homes, as well as local district and borough councils.
Cllr Jason Smithers, county council cabinet member for highways and place, said: “Climate change is a major crisis - not just for the county - but globally too, and it’s essential that we do what we can to address it.
“I am thrilled that we have been able to secure these new gas and electricity contracts and show our commitment to using sustainable energy and reducing carbon emissions. This is about planning for our future and working together to make the county carbon neutral within the next 10 years. These new contracts will also save us money”
In June 2007, the council adopted the fully managed Energy Procurement Service provided by Kent County Council through their Laser Energy Buying Group, a business unit of their Commercial Services division.
Laser was founded in 1989 and is the largest local authority energy buying group in the UK. Laser has been purchasing energy flexibly since 2008, acting on behalf of over 115 individual local authorities and 45 other public sector bodies, with contracts worth over £350m per annum. This is equivalent to around 1.7% of the UK’s non-domestic energy demand.