Council save more than £2million

Fraserburgh's new Swimming Pool.
Fraserburgh's new Swimming Pool.

Aberdeenshire Council has saved more than £2 million of taxpayer’s money as a result of energy efficiency projects, Councillors have heard.

Members of the council’s Scrutiny and Audit Committee were told how the savings had been made through more than 100 individual energy efficiency projects which have also led to a reduction of 56,000,000 kWh in electricity use.

Typical projects have included lighting improvements through the installation of daylight and presence detectors, swimming pool covers, door and window draft proofing, heating temperature reduction valves as well as fuel switching.

The installation of variable speed drives onto pump motors at swimming pools has also meant that overnight filtration rates have been significantly reduced.

Photovoltaic panels have also been installed at the council’s Woodhill House headquarters which has help saved £4,500 in electricity and generated more than £5,200 from feed tariffs annually.

Chairman of the Scrutiny and Audit committee, Councillor Gillian Owen said: “There is a strong focus on energy management throughout the council and we are delighted that has begun to bear fruit.

“Ever increasing electricity prices mean that the benefits of these savings will continue to pay dividends for years to come.

Vice-Chair Councillor Richard Thomson said: “As long as low energy improvements are balanced against the up front investment costs, it’s a win-win situation for the taxpayer and the environment.

“The council has set ambitious targets on energy efficiency and climate change so it is important that we continue to build on these successes.

“That is why it’s pleasing to hear that a host of new Aberdeenshire Council facilities are on target to achieve a “very good” energy rating including the new Ellon and Mearns Academy, Fraserburgh Swimming Pool, Drumoak and Markethill Primary Schools, as well as Inverurie and Stonehaven Care Home.”

The projects are part of the council’s long term commitment to the environment and have been carried out under the Central Energy Efficiency Fund since 2005.

Biomass boilers have also been installed at Peterhead Academy, Stonehaven Care Home and Fraserburgh Pool.

Further biomass installations are being developed for other buildings including Mearns Academy, Ellon Academy, Peterhead Office and Inverurie Academy.

Recently, however, Fraserburgh’s pool has come under scrutiny by members of the public and Troup councillor Hamish Partridge, who earlier this month said: “Nobody can deny the new Fraserburgh sports centre is a fantastic facility to have and very important to the people of Fraserburgh and surrounding areas.

“Unfortunately, due to the huge number of complaints I have been receiving from my constituents about the new sports facility in Fraserburgh I am extremely disappointed and concerned at the number of faults and issues still being experienced within this building.

“I am well aware that any new buildings can have teething problems but nine months on and dealing with many of the same issues is unacceptable and unfair on the public.

“There is no excuse for the length of time these repairs are taking,” he added.

It is understood that the contractor of the building is to correct the faults with the building at their own cost within a reasonable time period.