APSE calls on councils to switch on to municipal energy

Local authorities that invest in renewable and municipal energy schemes could reap substantial rewards, according to a report by APSE.

In a new report, entitled Municipal Energy: Ensuring councils plan, manage and deliver on local energy’, the Association for Public Service Excellence said council schemes could help transform the UK’s energy market.

The report states for every £1 invested by councils in renewable energy schemes could deliver £2.90 in benefits and 17 jobs can be created from every £1 million spent on energy saving measures.

And councils could cut their own energy bills by up to half by leveraging in spending power and using low-cost technologies in existing buildings.

“A new wave of council entrepreneurs have the capacity and capability to integrate municipal energy schemes across key frontline services, from regeneration to housing, from planning to corporate resources, from maintaining public buildings and assets to highways and street lighting, the prism of municipal energy should act as a catalyst to change the way we think about energy production, consumption and supply,” said report author, Philip Monaghan.

Commenting on the report Paul O’Brien, APSE’s chief executive said “ The municipalisation of energy is about councils taking a leading role in the breakup of a failed energy market monopoly. We can no longer tinker at the edges whilst consumers, including councils as consumers themselves, get a raw deal. Bold councils such as Peterborough, Nottingham and Bristol are leading the way in not only developing renewable energy alternatives to fossil fuels but in doing so they are delivering value for money for local council tax-payers, generating income and addressing fuel poverty through reduced energy bills for residents.”

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues