Going green slashes Norfolk County Council fuel bills
Fitting solar panels to schools, libraries and fire stations has helped Norfolk County Council bosses save more than �1m a year on its fuel bills.
And the council says a raft of further energy efficiency improvements will save �2.1m a year and cut the authority's carbon footprint by more than 7,000 tonnes.
Efficiency upgrades at around a third of Norfolk County Council sites have already been completed or had funding allocated from the council's Carbon and Energy Reduction Fund, which is investing �9.8m over three years to meet a 25pc carbon dioxide reduction target by April 2014.
Nearly 1,000 solar panels have been installed at a fifth of Norfolk's libraries, four of the county's busiest fire stations, plus the Hethersett Fire and Rescue headquarters and nine Norfolk schools.
Three schools and Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse museum are also using new biomass boilers, which run off sustainably sourced timber, rather than fossil fuel.
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Energy efficient lighting, new heating control systems and better insulation are lowering fuel bills at offices, schools, libraries and museums run by the county council.
Cliff Jordan, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for efficiency, said: 'To date we've completed or given the green light to efficiency projects worth �5.5m at 266 sites across the county council's estate.
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'These are already bringing big benefits and we are now saving over �1m a year on our fuel bills.'
Phil Hardy, green adviser to the cabinet, said: 'With Climate Week currently running across the country, organisations and individuals will be restating their commitment and ambition to combat climate change.
'This news demonstrates that Norfolk County Council is taking its environmental responsibilities seriously with this practical programme of improvements.
'There are many more projects in the pipeline – evidence of our commitment to do all we can to meet our 25pc carbon reduction target by 2014.'