Herts County Council’s energy bills jumped up 50% to almost £25m in just two years

Staggering rise sees council paying just under £14m just for electricity
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Herts County Council’s energy bills went up by more than 50 per cent in just two years – to almost £25m – according to the latest available data.

Back in 2020/21, the data shows that Hertfordshire County Council was paying £2,849,735 for gas and £12,965,263 for electricity. That’s a combines energy bill of £15,814,998.

In 2021/22, those charges increased to £3,175,815 for gas and £13,955,002 for electricity.

Hertfordshire County CouncilHertfordshire County Council
Hertfordshire County Council

And the latest data available shows that in 2022/23, the bills jumped even further to £4.916,343 for gas and £19.918,378 for electricity.

That’s a combined total in 2022/23 of £24, 834,721 – that’s an extra £9,019,723 and equivalent to an increase of 57 per cent, compared to 20/21.

The information was published by the county council following a request made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

In response the county council’s executive member for resources and performance Cllr Bob Deering says the bills went up as a result of “sharp global increases in prices”, which have been felt by bill payers across the country.

But he told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that more recently prices had fallen – which he said had given the council “just a bit more financial headroom” than expected.

He stressed that the council took steps to monitor energy usage, in order to make improvements in energy performance.

And he said energy was purchased by through a consortium of 200 public bodies – ensuring the financial benefits of bulk buying for the council.

He also highlighted measures to reduce energy usage across council buildings such as the installation of solar panels across the council estate, including schools.

And he highlighted further steps such as LED upgrades, battery storage and air source heat pumps – as well as the conversion of sites from fossil fuels to fully electric systems.