Local authorities deal with the private sector all the time but quite often in areas where expertise and experience exists in the council. The in house expertise is not always available for energy security and councils are being approached by consultants and financiers offering different packages around the Feed in Tariff. Crudely speaking these offers break down into three types:
- Rent a roof (where a third party hires roof space and takes the feed in tariff).
- DIY (where the council installs the equipment and takes all the feed in tariff).
- Energy Saving Company (ESCO) (where the council forms a separate entity to manage energy possibly with private sector).
The LGiU has heard differing opinions on the popularity of these options and conducted a survey of participants in the network – Carbon Saving Public Sector. From 17 responses the results were:
- DIY 53%
- Rent a roof 29%
- ESCO 5%
- No preference 10%
There is a definite preference for in house management of the councils own estate, with some councils using rent a roof for schools and housing. In all cases the schemes had not actually started for financial or legal reasons. The main problem was that long term contracts restricted a councils ability to rationalise its estate.
There was no consensus on what a good financial return might be for schemes and all five respondents who gave a figure used different units.