Parker casts light on 73% carbon tax hike

Scottish Borders Council’s carbon tax liability has leapt by 73% – despite the authority reducing its overall energy consumption.

The climate change levy paid in 2014/15 was £315,000 – up from £182,000 the previous year – and, at last week’s SBC meeting, Kelso councillor Simon Mountford wanted an explanation.

He was told by leader David Parker the allowances which the council must purchase to offset its CO2 emissions rose from £12 per tonne in 2013/14 to £15.90 last year, accounting for £15,799 of the increase. But he said the biggest factor in the hike was the energy required for the region’s 19,000 street lights.

“This was excluded from the calculation of our carbon tax liability before 2014/15 and therefore any street lighting electricity consumption previously did not contribute to our overall carbon tax costs,” explained Councillor Parker.

“It is worth noting that SBC’s energy consumption actually reduced from 54,534 kilowatt hours in 2013/14 to 53,149kwh in 2014/15 – a reduction of 2.5%.”

“The council continues to invest in a range of actions to further reduce our consumption including LED street lighting, insulation, solar panels and boiler upgrades.”