Red tape stalls energy action

More than one in four local authority decision-makers believe that red tape is preventing them from effectively managing their energy consumption. A study by the Local Government Chronicle and British […]

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By Kelvin Ross

More than one in four local authority decision-makers believe that red tape is preventing them from effectively managing their energy consumption.

A study by the Local Government Chronicle and British Gas Business asked 50 key local authority figures for their views on whether overly bureaucratic public procurement has proven to be a hindrance in the challenge to cutting costs and becoming more energy efficient.

Some 25% of respondents said that energy skills shortages were preventing them from making necessary carbon cuts.

However, almost two thirds (60%) plan to invest in energy efficiency in the next six months.

British Gas Business managing director Kanat Emiroglu said: “Local authorities and the public sector more widely must be allowed to cut through outdated red tape to help respond to the challenges of the spending review and make savings on energy.

“Without a reform of public sector procurement allowing for a more streamlined process, more innovative financing solutions, bundled energy supply and services solutions and a focus on consumption reduction rather than just price, then less money will be available to support frontline services.”

Local Government Chronicle editor Emma Maier said: “The increasing pressure on the public sector to meet rigorous cost cutting targets whilst dealing with a heavily burdensome procurement process is of real concern for our readers. With cutting energy consumption a high priority, it is crucial that the public sector and the public procurement groups are freed up to make the right purchasing decisions for local communities which will deliver cost and carbon savings”.