07 February
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A report on energy costs for Council Executive highlights the electricity usage fell by 26%, from 48.8 million units in 2017/18 to 35.9 million units in 2022/23.

Gas and biomass use also reduced by 10% during the same period, from 77 million units to 69 million units.

The reduction in energy consumption by the council aims to both help protect the environment and offset the rising costs of energy to ensure more money can be focused on essential services.

Energy savings measures used to achieve the savings included: guidance for heating in council properties; LED lighting upgrades at a number of schools and other council properties; thermal improvements such as better insulation or upgraded building fabric; installation of solar panels at a number of buildings; and water efficiencies.

This means the council is on track to make £575,000 of energy savings across estate in 2024/25.

Despite all these measures, the council's energy costs are expected to rise from £14.3 million in 2023/24 to £19.3 million in 2027/28.  

Electricity prices are predicted to continue to rise next year, with ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East have the potential to lead to continued volatility over energy costs.

Leader of West Lothian Council Lawrence Fitzpatrick said: "Huge steps have already been taken to reduce the council's energy usage.

"Thanks to all the officers who have worked to reduce energy use, which both helps the environment and ensures more money can be spent on services for the West Lothian community.

"Council officers will continue to keep energy costs under a close watch, and identify further ways to keep our bills down."