Norfolk council could set up energy firm to cut costs

Norfolk County Council could set up a wholly-owned but independent energy company to provide renewable power to its buildings and raise revenue.

The council's cabinet on Monday will consider installing solar panels on schools, libraries, fire stations and other buildings the authority owns.

The stand alone business could also tap into government energy initiatives and other funding sources, a report said.

The scheme is backed by the ruling Conservatives and Green party members.

The company will oversee the installation of renewable power sources on buildings the council owns to cut energy costs.

Future legacy

Any surplus will be sold to the National Grid to generate revenue to be passed on to the council to support its activities.

Derrick Murphy, leader of Norfolk County Council, said: "This in an innovative approach for the public sector but it is one that I firmly believe will put this authority in an enviable and financially rewarding position.

"Not only will it mean we can capitalise on the emerging renewable energy sector by attracting additional investment to Norfolk but will also deliver real savings for Norfolk residents by reducing our energy bills and generating additional income to be ploughed back into critical front line services."

Phil Hardy, leader of the Green Party group, said: "By working together on this initiative, not only will we reduce the council's energy costs whilst creating an income stream, but we will leave a legacy for future generations.

"This is an example of putting the people of Norfolk first, ahead of party political point scoring."

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