The Climate Change Officer delivered a presentation setting out the next steps following on from the delivery of the Trajectory Report which had been written by and received from APSE (Association for Public Service Excellence) earlier in the year and circulated to the Board previously.
It was explained that energy management was not always a highly visual activity but was an important part of the Council’s objectives. The presentation aimed to provide the Board with insight and information on progress so far.
Improving monitoring and reporting of the Council’s energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions was a time consuming activity but also critical to the taking forward other projects. The Council has two climate change related corporate performance indicators (ENV8 and ENV9) that are updated in the Asset Management team’s Service Plan. These form part of a formal performance monitoring report which is shared with Corporate Management Team and the Corporate Governance and Standards Committee on a quarterly basis for their comment and review.. It was proposed that reporting would be undertaken on energy use on a quarterly basis for Scopes 1 and 2 (gas, fleet and electricity) and annual emissions reporting on Scopes 1,2 and 3. Although the quarterly reports concerned consumption this might be translated into emissions if required for a wider discussion within the Council although it was not yet agreed that there would be a formal reporting of those performance indicators to councillors. It was noted that any such reporting would be dependent upon completion of the collation of the required data, a task significantly enabled through the work being undertaken to improve the Council’s energy management arrangements.
It was noted that the APSE Trajectory Report had reported on 2019-20 as a baseline and that the Council was already eleven months on from that point. In that regard it was anticipated that the quarterly reporting would provide a more accurate ongoing picture over the course of the year rather than retrospectively. To support the objective of achieving ‘near real-time’ reporting the existing energy management software (EMS) was now up to date, included all of the Council’s assets and was being maintained. Energy related rolling contracts had been collated and reviewed checking suitability, cost and scope (size of the site); all known invoice data applicable to the last 12 months had been imported into EMS, identifying gaps, errors and inefficiencies (e.g. high specification meters reporting on small consumption site or vice versa); historic bill validation, covering every meter the Council had responsibility for, is scheduled to be undertaken to ensure service optimisation in as much detail as possible; practices were being updated and developed to ensure reliability and consider usability to support service delivery engagement (probably a system of alerts and triggers would update a service that consumption was higher than expected prompting an investigation). A discussion with service areas would take place to understand how their engagement with this information.
Overall, the implementation of the above measures would ensure a more accurate progress check against targets and provide detailed emissions recording against specific services and assets. The asset inventory for the Council’s estate would be up to date and savings against energy use achieved. It was noted that energy savings equated with financial savings.
It was noted that the existing EMS might be further upgraded to improve the interface functionality and make it accessible to more officers in the Council to interrogate if this was found to be more efficient. The cost of such an upgrade was described as modest at around £1,200 per annum.