United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Go all green and save

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Rotherham Council in South Yorkshire is the first local authority in Britain to opt for a 100% green supply of electricity in anticipation of the climate change levy (CCL), the new tax on business use of energy. Wind energy and biomass will power all the council's buildings including hundreds of schools, offices, libraries, leisure centres and even street lights.

Initially, the green supply from Yorkshire Electricity will be 8% more expensive than its conventional supply, but when the CCL comes into force in April 2001, the council will see savings. Its annual bill is expected to cost £1,751,500 compared with the £1,799,000 it would have had to pay for conventional "brown" electricity, a saving of over £47,000.

Despite Rotherham's location in South Yorkshire's coal mining heartland, the council's decision to go green reflects its environmental policy to "lead by example." In a report recommending the move, the council's head of property service, Ian Russell, adds: "The purchase of green electricity would be a high profile illustration of our commitment." The council has a responsibility to make sure it does everything it can to support electricity from renewables, says councillor Ken Wyatt. "Some local authorities have signed up for green electricity to power parts of their operation. Rotherham Borough Council is one of the first to sign up for this 100%."

Yorkshire Electricity guarantees it will not make any profits on the extra money its customers pay for green power. The premium supports the running costs of the renewable generators, it says.

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