Leicestershire County Council has revealed that it is considering installing solar panels on County Hall to help tackle escalating energy bills.

The council has to cut £110 million from its budget by 2018 and has identified a range of energy-saving measures that it can implement to help meet this target.

Currently the council’s energy bills cost £1.5 million every year, with just less than half of that total coming from County Hall alone. Due to the large energy consumption, the council is taxed £600,000 each year in carbon reduction payments.  

Under the new proposals, the council believes that it can knock £400,000 a year off its annual energy bills by installing a raft of new measures. Chief amongst the new measures is the installation of 600 solar panels on the roofs of buildings at County Hall, as well as other suitable council buildings.

However, solar PV is not the only technology being considered by the council which also plans to install a biomass boiler to help heat County Hall. In addition, improvements will be made to windows, lighting and the way council buildings are occupied to deliver additional energy savings.

Deputy leader Byron Rhodes, cabinet member for resources, commented: “At a time we have to save £110 million, it makes sense to put our own house in order and do what we can to cut energy bills.

“Our ambitious plans will pay for themselves in terms of lower energy bills and incentive payments from the government. They also support our intention to reduce the council’s carbon footprint.”

Leicestershire County Council’s energy-saving proposals are expected to save more than 400 tonnes of carbon emissions per year.