Council bosses hail £500,000 energy savings despite soaring bills

A council chief has praised Perth and Kinross schools for their help in monitoring and using less energy.

Perth and Kinross Council bosses hail £500,000 energy savings despite soaring bills Google Maps

Perth and Kinross Council (PKC) managed to reduce its energy bills in 2022/23 by £500,000 despite energy costs soaring at unprecedented rates.

A council chief has praised Perth and Kinross schools for their help in monitoring and using less energy.

The convener of PKC’s Scrutiny and Performance Committee was “taken aback” at the energy and carbon reductions and congratulated those involved.

PKC’s Annual Performance Report 2022/23 was put before the committee on Wednesday, June 7.

It revealed that based on 2021/22 levels, gas and electricity costs increased by a jaw-dropping 231% and 61% respectively for 2022/23.

In order to mitigate the impact of soaring energy prices and work towards the Scottish Government’s Net Zero the report said it was “essential” the Energy and Engineering team within Property Services continue its previous good work and extend PKC’s commitment to being more energy efficient in line with the PKC Climate Change Action Plan.

The report showed that compared to 2021/22 there had a been a reduction in PKC’s energy consumption by 12%, carbon emissions by 14% and energy costs by 8%.

Independent Strathmore councillor Colin Stewart told the committee: “I was particularly taken aback to note the percentage reduction in energy consumption and the percentage reduction in our CO² compared to the previous year. And indeed the actual energy costs at a time when energy costs were going up.

“How did we manage that and how will we sustain that going forward? Those seem like particularly commendable figures to me.”

PKC’s head of Property Services Stephen Crawford told the committee there had been a particular focus on its larger buildings and paid credit to local schools cutting down their energy usage.

He said: “We focused on the large buildings this year with building audits. I think I would also put a lot of credit to the schools, the business managers and headteachers who have helped us in monitoring and using less energy.”

A milder winter may also have been a factor.

Mr Crawford said: “This year was marginally warmer than previous years so that has helped in terms of heating.”

The Property Services chief said the reductions were part of a 10-year programme where the council has taken one third off its megawatt consumption.

Mr Crawford added: “It’s actually part of a trend and a 10-year reduction to take our 80,000 megawatts consumption folio down to close to 50,000 megawatts.”

Measures that have been taken include upgrades to Building Management Systems (BMS), rationalising hot water systems, installing LED lighting, and replacing inefficient heating equipment.

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