Jun 29 2011 by Kaiya Marjoribanks, Stirling Observer Wednesday
STIRLING Council has saved a whopping £713,000 in energy costs in one year.
And now councillors have asked officers to find out if council house tenants could reap the same benefits.
Stirling Council’s executive was told of the saving at a meeting last week.
Officials said: “Following the ending of our previous electricity and gas contracts, the council took the opportunity from April 1 2010 to purchase its electricity and gas supplies from Procurement Scotland’s national energy framework agreement.
“The electricity contract commenced on October 1 2009 and will run until September 30 2012. The gas contract commenced on April 1 2010 and will run until March 31 2013. Both contracts have the option to extend for a further year.
“Following a review of energy costs arising from the new contracts, savings of £713,000 have been generated in 2010/11.”
Housing portfolio holder Councillor Alasdair Macpherson asked if there was any way council house tenants could tap into the same system to help with their energy costs.
However, officials said while Stirling Council was benefiting from the contract it was not available as a source of supply for tenants, only for the service.
Head of housing Tony Cain said: “Local authorities can tap into this agreement for the running costs of its buildings, but tenants cannot benefit from it.
“It’s a corporate contract and our tenants, like every other household, have to make their own arrangements for energy.”
Councillor Macpherson said: “My understanding is that some councils in England are subsidising tenants. Can we look into that?”
Head of finance Willie Watson said: “Contracts through Procurement Scotland are available to the public sector not to individuals. But we can look into the situation down south.”
Council leader Graham Houston said: “I think it’s a very good point. We are talking about the council purchasing it and providing it as part of the rents. At least we can look into it.”