Rugby Borough Council has been recognised as being one of the best performing councils in the country for its pioneering work in energy efficiency.
The council’s first ever submission to the LGC Awards, administered by the Local Government Chronicle, has been shortlisted for further consideration by a panel of industry specialists.
The council has a carbon management plan that outlines how it will reduce its energy costs in real terms over the next few years, despite ever-increasing energy prices. For example, so far the council has increased the capacity of its hot-water system while halving its running costs, while at the John Barford car park new LED lighting costs £12,000 less to run - every year. Through proactive energy management and other measures, such as new LED lighting at the Town Hall, the council is on target to save £1.8million by 2016. Both LED lighting projects were installed and overseen by ECO-lite - a specialist LED lighting installer.
Cllr Sally Bragg, Rugby Borough Council portfolio Holder for Resources and Corporate Governance, said: “Every pound that we spend on energy and utilities is a pound that is not available to provide services to our residents. It is a key priority of this council to protect services and freeze council tax, so it is very important that we are efficient in everything that we do, and this is another example of the way that Rugby Borough Council innovates.”
Cllr Dr Mark Williams, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for Sustainable Environment, said: “Being energy efficient makes sound financial sense, but also has many environmental benefits. Better insulation for example creates a better working environment for our staff, but also saves a substantial amount of carbon dioxide emissions. By the end of the carbon management plan period, we hope to have reduced our carbon emissions by 30 per cent.”
Emma Maier, Editor of the Local Government Chronicle, said: “Congratulations to all shortlisted organisations. Local government has lots to shout about, and these awards are part of that. Each of you should feel proud to be among our finalists.”
A record breaking 640 entries were submitted for this year’s awards, and Rugby Borough Council is the only district council to be shortlisted in the energy efficiency category. The council will now prepare a short presentation of the council’s achievements for the judges, and the result will be announced in March 2014.