Scrutiny task group welcomes energy policy progress

Street light

Posted on: 11 September 2015

A task group set up by Devon County Council’s Place Scrutiny Committee has today (Friday 11 September) welcomed the progress which has been achieved on the Council’s energy policy.

The Place Scrutiny Committee published a report on the policy last November, recommending that the way the Council manages its energy consumption should be examined. It also suggested that it should consider investing in renewable energy to generate income in order to safeguard public services in the future.

The original work was undertaken by the Committee’s energy policy task group, and it reconvened in order to explore if recommendations are being progressed and to construct a timetable for implementation.

The task group has found that significant progress has been achieved, partly due to the Council’s disposal of assets, which has led to a decrease in its energy consumption.

The Council’s energy is purchased through a collaborative contract with other public sector partners in order to make it cost effective and will include automatic readings on all gas, electricity and water meters. The contract will also supply schools from April 2016.

The appointment of an Energy Manager is expected this Autumn to oversee the use of the Council’s energy consumption, and to identify savings which can be made as well as developing a renewable energy strategy.

The task group also heard that the conversion of part-night street lighting is achieving 20% savings in energy consumption, and the installation of LED streetlights from 2016 on roads which are lit all night is forecast to reduce consumption to 50% of that used before these programmes began.

The Council has also used a grant from the Department for Transport to lease three electric vehicles for its civil parking enforcement team.

Councillor Andrew Moulding, Chairman of the Place Scrutiny Committee, said: “It’s encouraging that the task group found that Devon County Council is managing its energy consumption well, and will champion renewable and community energy in the future. I’m pleased that it will continue to keep the matter under review.”

Councillor Gordon Hook, who chaired the task group, said: “The members are impressed by the achievements made to date, which include an improvement to internal governance arrangements, a new energy supply contract which will also accurately monitor our energy consumption, the imminent appointment of a Corporate Energy Manager to really drive this agenda forward as well as leasing electric cars.

“Members are hugely encouraged by the progress achieved, have high hopes for the Corporate Energy Manager to implement the Energy Strategy and look forward to celebrating more successes in the future.”

The report is available here.

Posted in: Environment