Local Authorities and Energy: Building a Fairer Low Carbon Energy System

Our latest report looks at a range of innovative local energy initiatives which show how Britain’s towns and cities are transforming efforts to create a cleaner, smarter and more affordable energy system, providing an alternative to the big utilities, and boosting their local economies in the process. We look at a range of different energy initiatives being carried out by local authorities around the country. The list – in alphabetic order – is not meant to be exhaustive, but hopefully it will inspire others to set up projects of their own. If local authorities can learn from each other, rather than starting from scratch, it will avoid common pitfalls and speed up progress towards a low carbon local renewable energy revolution.

We can learn for instance from Aberdeen’s pioneering district heating scheme and Portsmouth City Council’s plans to continue installing solar panels on public building despite cuts in feed-in tariffs, or Peterborough’s scheme to install solar panels free of charge on homes in the City. Every Authority should know about Wolverhampton’s highly efficient new schools which require hardly any energy to heat, about Shetland Island Council’s plans to extract heat from the North Sea or Islington’s plan to extract heat from the London Underground and how Nottingham City Council managed to set up its own energy company which can sell electricity more cheaply than any other company in the East Midlands. Surely every councillor will want to hear about Oxford’s project to provide low income households with solar electricity and batteries to store any surplus, Edinburgh’s work with a local community energy co-operative to install solar panels on schools and leisure centres across the City, and Fife Council’s project to fuel council refuse collection vehicles with wind generated hydrogen.

Local Authorities and Energy

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Published: 24 October 2016
Last updated: 25 October 2016