A Lincolnshire council has warned its energy bills could more than double to £99,000 by the end of the year, as it looks to install solar panels to cut costs by 40%.
A report before North Kesteven District Council’s executive committee this week says the authority pays around £44,000 annually on an average of 330,000kWh of electricity but said economic commentators’ suggestions it could rise to 30p per kWh (currently 13.29p) would represent a 225% increase on its bill.
They will be asked to vote on plans to spend £150,000 on 230 solar panels to be fitted to the roof of council buildings which they predict will save £16,267 a year on current costs as well as present an annual carbon saving of 20.6 tonnes – equivalent to 27%.
If prices rise, the saving would increase to £24,401 a year.
The report said it would take around 6.4 years for the initial cost to be paid back by the savings and a £2,000 a year budget would be needed for maintenance.
“A business case has been established that demonstrates the options to the council,” said the report.
“It is expected that electricity prices will continue to significantly increase over the next year.
“While the council has purchasing power and access to energy contracts to limit the scale of inflationary impacts being experienced, it remains highly likely that the council’s energy costs will rise.
“The outlined solar panel scheme will not only assist the council in mitigating these potential increases but also leads to a 27% reduction in CO2 consumed through electricity by the council offices.”
North Kesteven District Council, like a number of others in the county, has already installed a number of solar panels, with the first batch installed in 2014 and saving 11.65KWh a year.
If approved, the council hopes to install the panels by November.