Oxfordshire County Council has ranked as one of the greenest councils in the country, a new report has revealed.

The county council has ranked as a gold tier council in Uswitch’s first annual Green Council Report, which looks into the commitment of local authorities to be more environmentally sustainable.

The report covers the councils that are leading the way in terms of green initiatives and renewable energy, from installing EV charging points to net zero targets.

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Witney Gazette: The county council is one of the greenest in the UK, thanks to energy saving initiativesThe county council is one of the greenest in the UK, thanks to energy saving initiatives

Information used in the report was was obtained by Uswitch using a freedom of information request sent to 24 county councils, with 21 responding.

Uswitch asked:

  • For your main building, who is the energy supplier? (Please answer individually for both gas and electric if applicable).
  • Is your main building on a green/renewable energy tariff? (Please answer individually for both gas and electric if applicable).
  • For your main building, what is the name of the energy tariff you are on with the energy supplier? (Please answer individually for both gas and electric if applicable).
  • Do you have any electric vehicles on your fleet of vehicles for staff? If yes, please state how many.
  • Do you have any renewable installations across your buildings that you get a direct supply of energy from? If yes, please state which of the following you have and any others not listed:
  • Solar panels
  • Solar thermal panels
  • Wind turbines
  • Air source heat pump
  • Ground source heat pump
  • Biomass systems
  • Hydroelectric systems

6. Please state how much was spent in £ on office paper in the last financial year for your main building.

7. Are there any eco-friendly initiatives across your buildings such as green transport for staff, recycling initiatives, etc? If so, please state them.

Uswitch found that Oxfordshire County Council sourced positively in four of the requirements needed to be considered a leader in sustainability, placing it in the gold tier category.

Witney Gazette: The council has a cycle to work scheme in placeThe council has a cycle to work scheme in place

The council is currently doing better than 67 per cent of the other UK County Councils.

In particular, Oxfordshire County Council has:

  • Renewable installations on site, such as solar panels and an air source heat pump
  • 22 electric vehicles as part of its fleet
  • Renewable tariff with the energy supplier.
  • Eco-friendly initiatives, such as an electric pool car scheme, electric pool bike scheme, Brompton folding pool bike scheme, ongoing Energy Switch Off campaigns, staff led climate action group, and carbon literacy training and mandatory climate action eLearning coursers in place.

Will Owen, energy expert at Uswitch.com said: “It’s great to see that many of the councils are leading by example when it comes to sustainability.”

“The fact that so many have already adopted electric vehicles is a great message to send to the public. The more EVs seen on the road, especially by government run establishments, will increase confidence in their ability among the public.”

“And the councils that are producing some of their own renewable energy, and the ones that are ensuring their grid supply is green, are all helping towards the rapidly approaching Net Zero targets.

“While finances may be tight for everyone, councils included, it makes sense to lower emissions as much as possible. One such way is to lower carbon heating emissions.”


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This story was written by Sophie Perry. She joined the team in 2021 as a digital reporter.

You can get in touch with her by emailing: sophie.perry@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @itssophieperry

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