Introduction - Hampshire County Council and Energy
The energy landscape is changing rapidly. At a national level, Government is implementing a range of policies designed to transition the UK to a low carbon economy. With fossil fuel reserves declining, the UK is increasingly looking to renewable and low carbon sources of energy to meet an ever-growing demand for electricity. As a result of this, energy costs and environmental taxes are increasing and security of supply is becoming increasingly vulnerable.
In 2011 the County Council spent in the region of £15.7m on energy in its buildings (£11.5m of this was within the school estate). Of the 670 sites that the County Council owns 178 of them had an energy bill in excess of £20k p.a.. This property portfolio includes schools, residential care homes, museums and libraries as well as offices.
The County Council’s current (2011) pattern of energy consumption is unsustainable. Based on Government price data and combined with estimates of future carbon taxes, County Council expenditure on non-schools’ energy could rise from the 2011 figure of £4.2m to nearly £8m by 2020 and £16m by 2030. This cost increase alone represents a real threat to the ability of the County Council to continue to deliver high quality services.
As a result of the rapidly changing energy landscape, there are a number of risks to the County Council. At a strategic level these risks can be broadly categorised under the following headings:
Security of supply