A comprehensive programme of energy and water savings is helping drive down running costs at Nottinghamshire County Council as the authority looks to plug a £154m budget deficit.
Despite rising energy costs, the county council has been able to save money on its gas and electricity bills thanks to a new bulk buying energy contract with the Government Procurement Service and schemes to generate its own power.
Energy costs for schools, street lights and council buildings are predicted to be in the region of £18m this year - £3m less than in 2010-11.
Last week the council’s policy committee approved plans to install more energy efficient LED lighting and dim high-powered lanterns in street lights across the county which will lead to estimated savings of £700,000 by 2016-17.
The council has also invested £600,000 in new solar panels on large council buildings, which is helping to contribute to long term financial savings and benefit the environment.
Almost £60,000 in revenue has been raised from selling power generated by the solar panels back to the National Grid last year, as well as saving the Council £18,000 on its own bills.
The savings and income generated represent a 12 per cent financial return on the original investment and an annual reduction of over 100 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.
Work to improve water efficiency in council buildings has also helped to drive down running costs.
You can give your views on the county council’s budget-cutting measures by visiting www.nottinghamshire. gov.uk/budget.