We are committed to reducing our impact on the environment and managing energy costs through utilising effective energy procurement, conservation and efficiency.
Our long and medium term corporate goals are:
- Manage energy costs and consumption;
- invest in energy efficiency (spend to save);
- consider life-cycle costs for all new projects, good and services;
- minimise environmental impact; and
- where financially beneficial utilise energy from sustainable sources.
Our short term objectives are to:
- Ensure the Energy Policy is being delivered
- Provide management reports on cost and consumption
- Set and publish energy and CO2 performance targets
- Report performance changes and improvements annually
- Ensure compliance with legislation
- Commission a regular programme of energy audits and ensure all relevant Council buildings have a Display Energy Certificate and Advisory Report
- Manage energy and water costs within buildings
- Increase staff awareness
- Secure competitive unit costs for gas and electricity supplies
- Monitor and target energy usage
- Take account of the opportunities for energy savings that arise out of the rationalisation of the estate and individual buildings
- Specify energy efficient design of new/refurbished buildings, and procure energy efficient plant and equipment
Energy saving initiatives at Somerset County Council includes; the Watt’s On? Energy awareness campaign which encourages employees to be environmentally savvy in the workplace, property rationalisation, improving the energy efficiency of buildings and street lighting and procuring energy effectively to reduce running costs.
Free advice for Somerset residents
Somerset residents who are interested in energy efficiency and saving money off their fuel bills can get free advice and support from the Home Energy Team at the Centre for Sustainable Energy in Bristol.
The Home Energy Team can advise you about understanding your energy bills, your heating system and on everything from simple no cost-low tips through to financing large scale energy saving improvements.
In addition, further support is available to Somerset residents who are struggling to keep their homes warm, finding it difficult to keep on top of their bills or need advice on grants for home improvements. Phone free on 0800 082 2234.
Renewable energy technologies convert the energy of the wind, waves, sun, growing crops and moving water into power we can use to boil a kettle, drive a car or heat our homes. We have produced a strategy that outlines how Somerset may be able to make better use of renewable energy. We can signpost you to organisations that provide information and advice on renewable energy.
We have implemented a number of renewable energy installations across our estate including a Photovoltaic array (solar panels) at our main office at County Hall, Taunton.
This installation was supported with grant funding of 65% of the cost from the Department of Trade and Industry's (DTI's) Major Photovoltaic Demonstration Programme which aimed to reduce photovoltaic prices through encouraging their application on a large scale.
The 142 m² photovoltaic array contains 120 cells generate up to 19,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity each year, which will in turn save approximately 8 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.
BioEthanol for Sustainable Transport
Somerset County Council were the UK Co-ordinating Partner of the EU-funded "BioEthanol for Sustainable Transport" (BEST) Project, under the European 6th Framework Programme Priority 6.1 Alternative Motor Fuels: BioFuel Cities. The BEST partnership included local government, major car manufacturers, fuel retailers, a bioethanol production company, and the leading UK academic institution on bioethanol research.
The project has now ended. If you would like to know more about this project please visit the Biofuels project website.