Local authorities facing £86 million carbon tax bill

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Cash-strapped councils face a combined carbon tax bill of £86 million next year which risks stripping funds from energy saving projects, experts have warned.
From 2012, councils will have to pay £12 for each tonne of CO2 they emit, including through heating and lighting communal areas of council housing, as part of the government’s carbon reduction commitment energy efficiency scheme.

More than 200 UK councils are regulated by the Environment Agency under the CRC because they use at least 6,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a year. The agency last week published the first CRC league table, which showed councils emitted about 7.1 million tonnes of CO2 last year, equating to a collective bill of £86 million.

Two housing associations also appeared on the league table; 2,000-home Cosmopolitan Housing Group and 5,000 Broadacres Housing Association which face bills of £78,000 and £5,100 respectively.

The league table scores organisations out of 100 based on whether they take energy efficiency measures and install smart meters. Both housing associations and 24 councils scored zero points.

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