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Local Authority Energy Index: Helping deliver large-scale energy programmes

26 November 2015

In the 12 months since the pilot Local Authority Energy Index was published, the energy scene has changed significantly, both at a global and UK national level

As a result, this year’s Index – which has been developed by Knauf Insulation, in partnership with GE and supported by Green Investment Bank - has been significantly expanded to analyse over 103 local authorities and eight core cities’ performance in four key subject areas.
The primary aim of the Energy Index is to highlight best practice and raise issues of the common barriers for local authorities to delivering large-scale energy programmes.  As such, this report considers how the 103 authorities are performing across four energy management areas: of own buildings, in the community, in housing and infrastructure.  Combined, these local authorities cover 50% of the energy usage and 50% of the population of England.
Chris Witte, Marketing Director at Knauf Insulation comments: “Last year’s pilot study focused on 25 local authorities.  The success of the campaign was in the positive response and feedback we’ve had from local authorities, validating the need for the report.
“Many councils have already taken steps to improve the energy efficiency of homes, offices and local transport, both within their estate and outside and this report recognises the ground covered; usually in difficult circumstances dealing with ‘stop-start’ central Government programmes, and always with constrained budgets.
“By creating a clear platform for engagement, the Energy Index helps local authorities to learn from each other, whilst providing a mechanism that encourages Government to adopt energy efficiency as a priority infrastructure investment.  A key element in delivering this, is the capability of local authorities to be strategic delivery partners of such programmes.”
Peterborough City Council is one such authority that has implemented a range of measures from collective switching, the introduction of a local energy tariff and an award winning energy efficiency programme on its own buildings, to free residential solar and the use of energy recovery facility to benefit from the city’s waste. Individually and collectively, each element of Peterborough’s energy strategy is commercially justified.
Corporate Director of Resources at the council, John Harrison comments: “The energy market has changed dramatically in recent times, both in terms of the way the energy we use is generated and the ability to produce more localised energy. This has presented a fantastic opportunity for local authorities.  We’ve certainly capitalised on this and it has enabled us to forge strategic partnerships with a variety of external private sector suppliers, leading to some major success stories.”
Stephen Mitchell, Director of Sales Excellence at GE, commented: "Global energy consumption is growing at an exponential rate and this burden is in turn weighing heavy on local authorities: as population centres become increasingly urbanised, the old systems and services are starting to creak under the pressure.  Tackling consumption at its source by improving energy efficiency in buildings and infrastructure networks, such as street lighting, is one of the key ways that local authorities can deal with the mounting challenge – and it's essential that businesses engage with the public sector to support this process."

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