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Hampshire's new streetlights help reduce cost to taxpayers

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Hampshire's streetlighting replacement programme will be saving taxpayers even more money from April 2014 when the next phase of the Government's carbon tax scheme comes in.

Since 2012, councils have had to pay £12 for every tonne of carbon they emit, including heating and lighting public buildings, as part of the Government's commitment to carbon savings and energy efficiency.

From April, the tax rises to £16 per tonne, and it will include streetlighting for the first time. Were it not for the Council's ambitious programme to replace over 150,000 streetlights across Hampshire, reducing their energy costs and cutting carbon emissions, the County Council would be liable for a further estimated £140,000 per year in carbon tax.

News of this further saving was welcomed by Councillor Mel Kendal, Hampshire County Council Executive Member for Income and Capital Receipts. The streetlighting replacement is a significant contributor to the Council's target to reduce its carbon emissions by 20 per cent, by 2015.

Cllr Kendal also recently endorsed a £1.4 million investment into an energy performance programme that will save taxpayers a further £200,000 a year, by making 25 of the Council's top energy-consuming buildings more efficient. It is expected to save in the region of £5 million in energy bills over the next 25 years.

The County Council is also testing the feasibility of a District Energy scheme after being awarded £144,000 of Government funding to develop a business case. If successful, the scheme would generate electricity and heat, and could reduce energy bills for the Council by around £4 million over 25 years, as well as reduce carbon emissions and improve energy resilience.

Cllr Kendal said: "We are on track to achieve our 20 per cent carbon reduction target by 2015. This is part of our Energy Strategy that aims to help Hampshire reduce the risks of future energy security and affordability, and contribute to a sustainable low carbon economy throughout Hampshire - all of which will save the taxpayer money. The positive steps we have already taken to cut our energy use will help us to lower our energy bills in future, and plough those savings back into providing local services to the people of Hampshire."

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