Ipswich council opts for greener power to cut carbon output

Ipswich Borough Council offices, Grafton House Picture: ARCHANT

Ipswich Borough Council is planning to cut its carbon output - Credit: Archant

Ipswich council will cut around 80% of its carbon output with fresh gas and electricity contracts beginning from next year, according to a new report.

The borough’s executive agreed to procure its gas and electricity through Crown Commercial Services, which secures zero-carbon electricity and “greener” gas, once arrangements with current partner Vertas end.

The new electricity contract will begin from April 1 2022, and the gas contract from October 2023.

According to the executive report, current electricity arrangements account for 35% of the authority’s carbon emissions with 1,605 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, while gas is 47% of emissions, or 2,254 tonnes of CO2 equivalent, meaning the new contracts will cut 80% from its output.

Martin Cook, Labour portfolio holder for resources, said: “Ipswich Borough Council is already working hard towards our target of being carbon-neutral by 2030.

“We already generate an estimated 445,000 kWh of zero-carbon energy every year from solar panels installed across the council’s property estate. We are replacing all of our fossil-fuelled cars and small vans with electric vehicles with an expectation that at least 95% of them will be powered by electric motors by the end of 2021. We are also starting to replace our gas boilers with alternative heating solutions.

“This decision to use only zero-carbon electricity and green gas will get us a long way towards our carbon-reduction target and in doing so we will also benefit from the bulk-buying power of the government-owned Crown Commercial Services which could actually see the price we pay for energy fall.”

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Green gas is produced from renewable sources, and can utilise farm and food waste to produce energy.

Cllr Ian Fisher, Conservative Group Leader and Councillor for Castle Hill Ward.

Ian Fisher, Conservative Group Leader, said the deal was a 'good option' - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown/Archant

According to the council’s report, the extra cost of green options on a standard tariff will only range from £2,800-£4,600 on a £1.1million expense.

Mr Cook also revealed a trial of electric vehicle refuse trucks is being planned for later this year as part of further efforts to cut the council’s climate impact.

The authority pledged to become carbon neutral by 2030 as part of its declaration of a climate emergency.

Ian Fisher, leader of the opposition Conservative group, said: “It’s very good to see we are using the Crown Commercial Framework – it looks to be a very good option.”