Derry and Strabane

Renewables overall provided 4.72% or ~£4 million pa of Derry and Strabane Councils income. This is the third best in NI after Fermanagh and Omagh where the figure is ~9% of overall rates.  This Council was one of the few with fossil fuel plant income of ~£2 million pa. This income will be lost in years to come with the energy transition and they will need a plan to fill this income gap with renewables. Overall energy provided 7% of this Councils income.  (see NI Council revenue league table here)

This Council was the only one in NI with even a vague idea of how much income they had by way of rates from renewable energy projects. But their estimate was much less than the Department of Finance figures provided to us below.

Looking at the Councils internal operations, they also had an income of £76,196pa from methane gas recovered from old municipal dumps and ~£10,000 income from PV, or other renewables installed on their premises or land. In addition they has savings from solar thermal or heat pumps of ~£32,000 pa. They do not appear to have a plan for transition to the new electrified economy.

There is no reason why Derry and Strabane council area could not own wind or PV farms in other Councils as is now becoming normal in GB -> see Warrington for instance.  Or West Suffolk. Or UK’s biggest Council Energy Storage SchemeHere is a report from Bradford Council that backs up what other GB Councils have found – It is far cheaper and more efficient to ‘go green’ and the ratepayers benefit from the new circular economy. 

We have learned a lot these last 2 years. We now know the full potential of Councils in Northern Ireland to benefit their ratepayers in dealing with Climate Change. These powers are considerable, even though they are not as extensive as Councils in Britain and the Republic of Ireland.  N.I. Councils have, collectively MORE power than the Northern Irish Regional Assembly at Stormont in Belfast.  SEE HERE for the 2023 template where we are more thoroughly and extensively vetting councils. 

How do we know this information?

In Northern Ireland, we found that the Department of Finance was very helpful, providing a full breakdown of rates by council on each type of renewable energy project. Here are the 3 freedom of information replies we got from them.

  1. Rates for every type of renewable energy project by Council
  2. Rates for fossil fuel generators by Council (no nuclear in NI)
  3. Overall rates for each Council area.

Council’s Reply

See Derry and Strabane’s reply; Council’s response.

Data Summary

See the breakdown summary of the Council here:

Annual £
Rates Income from Renewable Energy Projects £3,922,852
Income from Council’s own renewable energy £76,196
Cumulative annualised savings from energy savings campaign £10,000
Savings from the electrification of Council’s vehicle fleet £0
Rates Income from fossil fuel/nuclear electricity plants £0
Rates Income from grid infrastructure and related plant £0
Total  £4,009,048

NOTE: there is also £1,952,544pa rates from fossil fuel plant that will be lost over the next 10/15 years.