New rules announced by Liberal Democrat MP Chris Huhne, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, allowing town halls to sell green energy could create a multi-million pound business helping protect frontline services and keep council tax low.
Council-owned wind turbines and solar panels on town halls, council homes, leisure centres, other council buildings and land across the country could produce millions of pounds a year according to early estimates produced by the Local Government Association.
Councils across the country are already developing plans to produce their own renewable energy to cut their power bills, reduce carbon emissions and raise much-needed revenue.
Bristol City Council is planning two wind turbines each generating 2-3 megawatts of electricity, that they expect to bring in around £1 million a year.
Cornwall Council has installed solar panels on New County Hall in Truro. Other potential projects contained in the council’s Green Cornwall programme include the creation of a solar energy park, the development of wind farms on council land, the development of a biomass strategy to power council properties, and the creation of a rural epicentre for electric car transport in the county. South Somerset Council has installed a wind turbine at the Yeovil Innovation Centre capable of producing £6,000-worth of electricity a year.
Council resolves to:
Look at how this council can work towards generating green energy and in the process reduce its carbon footprint, along with generating revenue that will assist the council in the future funding of its priorities. To report back to council within three months with a plan of how and when this council will start to generate green energy.