07 February

Council Executive has backed plans to cut energy consumption to combat the increased cost of power, which is expected to stay high for many years.


The majority of the savings will come from energy mitigation changes as a result of the council's Heating Guidance and other behaviour change programmes. Further details of this programme will be reported to a future meeting of Council Executive in 2023 once a review of assets, including swimming pools, has been carried out.


Already identified measures include: installing more solar photo-voltaic panels on new build properties in addition to the 16 buildings where they are already fitted; more LED Light retrofitting of council properties, especially at primary schools; and thermal efficiency measures which improve the fabric of buildings to make them more airtight, improved central controls for heating systems and the further insulation measure.   


During 2022/23, the council agreed a further £3.3 million of one-off funding to pay for rising energy costs, and significant increase has been incorporated into spending plans for 2023/24 to 2025/26.


Leader of West Lothian Council Lawrence Fitzpatrick said: "With the expectation that energy prices will remain high for several years, it's important that we make every effort to reduce our costs and mitigate the impact on our budgets that are being squeezed from every direction.


"The already identified measures are logical steps that we can take now to save energy and ensure as much of our resources as possible can be targeted on delivering the essential services people rely on.


"The review of energy use across the council's estate will allow us to consider the best way forward for future years."