Council looks to £1.2m scheme to help cut rising energy bills

MORE than £1m is set to be spent making the 10 most fuel-sapping buildings in Hull more energy efficient.

The Ferens Art Gallery, City Hall, the Central Library and the Guildhall will have a range of energy-saving measures installed to try and cut soaring fuel bills by a fifth.

The 10 properties cost £954,153 in the last financial year, with the Woodford Leisure Centre the highest user by far, racking up a £233,757 bill.

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Hull Council, which is having to make £48m savings over the next two years, is also having to pay £12 for every tonne of carbon dioxide emitted from its buildings, a bill set to rise to a total of £78,000 for the 10 buildings in this financial year.

The council is considering a RE:fit programme, which has already been carried out in Leeds and Bradford, to “retrofit” buildings with measures including insulation, draught proofing and heat recovery systems. The £1.2m cost would be repaid within seven years.

In a report being discussed by the council’s Cabinet today, Coun Martin Mancey said aspirations to be an Energy City would be undermined if the authority did not invest in energy-saving measures, as other authorities and public sector organisations had.

He added: “Furthermore, at a time when our revenue resources are under extreme pressure – and will continue to be for the foreseeable future – investments such as this with a guaranteed savings outcome must be a key component of our financial strategy.

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“From a different perspective, we have an obligation as a responsible public body to contribute to the reduction in carbon emissions, the more so as our citizens have already been severely and adversely impacted in recent years by the effects of climate change.

“In the wider context of energy security threatened by events on the global political stage, we need to demonstrate a tangible, albeit small overall, contribution to energy self-sufficiency at a national level.”

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