Local authorities concerned about energy prices, says report

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A recent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has highlighted Local Authorities' (LAs) growing concerns surrounding energy prices.

Although some LAs are well advanced in developing local energy strategies and can clearly define investment opportunities in energy, others are only starting to consider the benefits of such investment. Many may be inexperienced in the GB energy market and energy project delivery, preventing uptake of alternative energy solutions.

Dan Starman, senior consultant at Pixie Energy, said, “Local Authorities have seen their budgets tighten over the years and are also under pressure to justify their public expenditure decisions. This, alongside energy price rises, has undoubtedly driven the increasing worry about energy costs.

“This combination has mobilised a greater number of LAs to take action on energy, with 53% of LAs surveyed making investments in 2018, up from 43% in the previous year. Two-thirds of LAs have also invested in electric vehicle (EV) charging points, seeking to facilitate the EV revolution.

“Many LAs are also looking at investment in energy generation behind-the-meter. Commercial investments can deliver revenue over a 20-30 year project lifetime, supporting vital front-line services.

“However, the level of knowledge of the energy market could be hindering LAs ability to deliver energy-related projects. To combat this, BEIS’s five regional Energy Hubs are now working to support the development of LA knowledge."