Ipswich Borough Council to slash carbon output by 80% with new energy contracts
A Suffolk council will cut around 80% of its carbon output with fresh gas and electricity contracts beginning from next year, according to a new report.
Ipswich Borough Council's executive last week agreed to procure its gas and electricity procurement through Crown Commercial Services, which secures zero-carbon electricity and "greener" gas, once arrangements with current partner Vertas end.
The new electricity contract will begin from April 1 2022, while the gas contract will start from October 2023.
According to the executive report, current electricity arrangements account for 35% of the authority's carbon emissions with 1,605 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, while gas is 47% of emissions, or 2,254 tonnes of CO2 equivalent, meaning the new contracts will cut 80% from its output.
It has been acknowledged however that while it may cut the council's carbon output, it is unlikely to change the energy being generated by the country as a whole.
Martin Cook, Labour portfolio holder for resources, said: "Ipswich Borough Council is already working hard towards our target of being carbon-neutral by 2030.
"We already generate an estimated 445,000 kWh of zero-carbon energy every year from solar panels installed across the council’s property estate. We are replacing all of our fossil-fuelled cars and small vans with electric vehicles with an expectation that at least 95% of them will be powered by electric motors by the end of 2021. We are also starting to replace our gas boilers with alternative heating solutions.
“This decision to use only zero-carbon electricity and green gas will get us a long way towards our carbon-reduction target and in doing so we will also benefit from the bulk-buying power of the government-owned Crown Commercial Services which could actually see the price we pay for energy fall.”
Green gas is that produced from renewable sources, and can utilise farm and food waste to produce energy.
According to the council's report, the extra cost of green options on a standard tariff will only range from £2,800-£4,600 on a £1.1million expense.
Cllr Cook also revealed a trial of electric vehicle refuse trucks is being planned for later this year as part of further efforts to cut the council's climate impact.
The authority pledged to become carbon neutral by 2030 as part of its declaration of a climate emergency.
Ian Fisher, leader of the opposition Conservative group said: "It's very good to see we are using the Crown Commercial Framework - it looks to be a very good option."
The authority will be one of 1,100 public sector organisations using the Crown Commercial Services scheme, which utilises purchasing power benefits to secure better deals than the market average.