Worcestershire County Council will be purchasing ‘green’ electricity to power all of its street lighting, schools, libraries and all council buildings from the 1st April.
Through purchasing green electricity, the Council can record most of its Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from electricity as zero emissions in its annual GHG report.
The Council’s GHG emissions have already reduced by 36% since 2009/10, and it is expected that changing the type of electricity we buy will help to decrease our emissions even further.
The green electricity will be purchased through West Mercia Energy, and is REGO accredited, meaning it originates from renewable energy sources.
Councillor Tony Miller, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for the Environment said: “This change is one of many we are making to support our road to zero carbon emissions. Our newly formed Zero Carbon & Sustainability Board met today and together we remain committed to reducing emissions, and reducing our direct impact in this area. The Council will not rest on its laurels. We know we have much more to do to achieve net zero emissions and we continue to develop our plan to reach this stretching target.”
The green electricity will come from a variety of renewable sources, including solar power, wind power and hydro/wave power.
The current UK standard fuel mix for standard ‘brown’ electricity is made up of 29% renewable sources, whereas the ‘pure green’ standard that the Council will be purchasing is solely made up of accredited renewable sources.
This announcement helps the Council to meet one of its key priorities within its corporate plan, Protecting Our Environment.
It follows on from a significant investment in both LED street lighting and tree planting being approved as part of the County Council’s budget for 2020/21.
Following the Budgets approval, the council will begin working with the Woodland Trust to plant 150,000 new trees in the county to create new woodland areas that will enhance our environment for future generations.
It will also continue to improve flood mitigation measures as well as upgrading thousands more street lights to more energy efficient LED lights.