Business energy reductions praised

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Successful plans to reduce business energy by Birmingham City Council have won praise from the Westminster Sustainable Business Forum, a coalition of government agencies, peers, MPs and UK-based companies.

The Working for the Future initiative has been identified as a model for other authorities to follow, as it aims to save £100 million - possibly through monitoring business electricity usage - by replacing 55 old buildings with eight modern offices.

Randal Brew, Birmingham cabinet finance member, explained that renovation of some city centre offices will generate savings of £3.5 million in running costs, while reducing carbon emissions by 40 per cent.

Local government secretary Eric Pickles said: "This ... shows that every council could save millions by managing their properties better, using the money to protect frontline services or keep council tax down."

Towards the end of last year, the Carbon Trust announced that net savings of £1 billion could be achieved in the public sector through energy efficiency projects.

Posted by Anne Yevel

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