The Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) is launching a new service that brings councils together to find local solutions to energy security, sustainability and affordability issues.
For the past two years, APSE has been working with members who are pioneering sustainable local energy projects to develop a collaborative network to support local authorities in sharing information, ideas, resources and best practice. The APSE Energy service is now going live and the official launch takes place at the House of Commons on 11 June 2014 with the Rt Hon Ed Davey, MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, providing a key note address at the launch.
APSE Energy is an exciting new collaboration of councils of all political parties from across the UK who share an ambition to drive forward localised energy projects. Councils working together in this way can have greater influence and the potential to deliver economies of scale in green energy, while also stimulating economic growth and combatting fuel poverty. The collaboration will promote public and community, as well as private, ownership and management of local energy generation and distribution and delivery of energy efficiency measures.
Mark Bramah, assistant chief executive at APSE, who is responsible for APSE Energy, said:
Problems with energy pricing and supply are rarely out of the news and this crisis, along with a need to reduce carbon emissions, stimulate local business, employment and skills and address fuel poverty calls for a coherent, locally driven approach to energy that gives communities greater control.
'APSE Energy has been set up to support local government in driving forward the local energy agenda in ways that maximise value to local people and economies. It will facilitate local government in having a major stake in energy efficiency and renewable energy in partnership with the private and community sectors and energy companies. Sharing knowledge, expertise and building capacity to support each other can help reduce the time and cost of bringing forward projects and facilitate locally driven action.'
Forward-looking local authorities are already leading a diverse range of green energy projects; from solid wall insulation in social housing and district heat networks to renewable energy projects in wind, solar and biomass and waste to energy plants. The 32 authorities that have joined APSE Energy so far share an ambition to work together to realise a vision for local energy set out in a prospectus published in January.
Paul O'Brien, chief executive of APSE, said:
'Leading the local response to energy issues is a prime example of APSE's 'Ensuring Council' approach in action. The ensuring council means active stewardship to ensure social, economic and environmental well-being, linking strategic decision-making with delivery and generating income through municipal entrepreneurship. The Ensuring Council also means collaboration and APSE Energy supports collaboration to ensure better energy security, sustainability and affordability. Local renewable energy and energy efficiency projects have the potential to achieve a more balanced and stable market for the future supply of energy, build new supply chains and create green jobs. As major users of energy in their own buildings, taking an entrepreneurial approach to energy is also a chance for councils to save money and generate income.'
Dr Alan Whitehead MP, chair of The All-Party Parliamentary Renewable and Sustainable Energy Group who will be addressing the launch event commented:
'Energy policy is often talked about in terms of the trilemma of decarbonisation, security of supply and cost. I believe that if we want to meet this three pronged challenge, energy production will soon have to look radically different.
APSE Energy will help local authorities to drive such a change. It will see substantial elements of energy production brought into the hands of local authorities who will be able to produce greener, cheaper and more secure energy whilst at the same time creating new local jobs and expertise, tackling social problems such as fuel poverty, and raising much needed funds for squeezed councils'
The parliamentary launch will be chaired by APSE's national chair Cllr Leon Unczur, who commented:
'In a time of financial constraints when there hasn't been much good news for local government, driving forward green energy is a chance to show true local leadership, create resilient and sustainable local economies and new revenues for local government. There is a long way to go and a challenging agenda to deliver, but working in partnership can help make it happen. APSE Energy looks forward to working with government, the energy industry, social enterprises and community organisations as well as member authorities.'
Speaking about the launch David Kilduff a senior partner in Walker Morris Solicitors who are the appointed legal partner to APSE Energy said:
‘Local authorities are ideally placed to take advantage of the opportunities available to use their economic and community leadership role to drive the energy agenda in a number of ways to address economic and social objectives as well as enhance its own position as an energy consumer. Using normal business planning processes, project management techniques and the taking of timely advice there are very few legal obstacles to delivering their ambitions.'
Speakers at the House of Commons event include: Ed Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Dr Alan Whitehead MP, chair of The All-Party Parliamentary Renewable and Sustainable Energy Group; David Kilduff, senior partner, at Walker Morris Solicitors, APSE’s Energy partner; Mick Lovatt, corporate director for environment at Preston City Council, a founding member of APSE Energy; and APSE's chief executive, Paul O’Brien.
For further press information, contact Mo Baines on tel: 0161 772 1810 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org,
For further information on membership of APSE Energy, contact Mark Bramah on tel: 0161 772 1810, or email: email@example.com