Fermanagh and Omagh

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council appear to be totally unaware that they reached 9% of their rates income from renewable energy in 2021. This is the highest level of income in NI from the transition out of fossil fuels into renewable energy. See figures provided by the NI Department of Finance below. (see NI Council revenue league table here)

This Councils internal operations are quite unprepared for the energy transition to the ‘New Economy’. They had no direct income from renewables on its premises or land. They did have some renewable energy in the form of PV and biomass to reduce costs  but could not give a figure. We estimated this saved ~£217,000 per annum. But this may be an over-estimate.  Two municipal dumps were no longer producing methane gas. However the Tullyvar dump this Council shares with Mid-Ulster Council gave them half of £222,568.68 per annum which we have assumed is shared between the 2 Councils.

It is clear that when the transition in energy sources is complete in N.I., there will be an average of ~£20 million pa in rates for each of the 11 Councils in N.I..  But Fermanagh and Omagh do not have a plan to realise their share of what will be the fastest growing area in rates income over the next 10 years and thus may fail to reap the full benefit of the transition in savings and in additional income or well-paid local jobs for young people like us.

However Fermanagh and Omagh seem to have done well despite a lack of planning so far.

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 Fermanagh and Omagh’s reply; Council’s response.

Data Summary

See the breakdown summary of the Council here:

Annual £
Rates Income from Renewable Energy Projects £5,196,824
Income from Council’s own renewable energy £2,354
Cumulative annualised savings from energy savings campaign £217,400
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  £5,416,578