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Council turns focus to energy efficiency

Devon Council Council is examining a number of options to save energy, including better management of street lighting and the use of renewable energy technologies.

The county’s Energy Policy Task Group is carrying out the investigation after it found the rising cost of utility bills could increase its energy bill to £28m by 2020.

The Western Morning News quoted task group chairman councillor Gordon Hook as stating that the authority’s current strategy for energy consumption was operating at a loss and lack of funding was preventing the adoption of additional measures.

“Opportunities for significantly reducing energy costs and generating an income are being missed, leading to negative outcomes for the people of Devon,” he said.

“A shift towards focusing on solutions and opportunities, rather than barriers, needs to be made among senior leadership.”

Use of the council’s buildings and other assets were highlighted as a “huge untapped potential” to save energy and generate income.

Recommendations included the adoption of renewable energy and reviewing investment in energy efficiency, including the creation of a clear and concise strategy for the former.

Devon County Council’s cabinet has endorsed the task group’s report, the newspaper reported.