Longford County Council
How do we know this information?
It took 2 years for us to get Longford to fully reply to our FoI and AIE requests. While their reply linked here was polite and professional, its content is the worst we have received from any Council in Ireland.
Longford is another County Council without a plan for the energy transition.
When we started this project in 2020/2021 we never imagined that we would find a Council in Ireland worse than our own Newry Mourne and Down Council regarding getting their finances in shape to deal with the costs of Global Warming. During discussion at our workshop on Longford, we felt that only Leitrim came close in the South to the awfulness of this reply – but Leitrim has the benefit of 33% of its rates coming from renewables.
On-site Renewables Longford County Council claimed to have no renewable energy installed on its premises to save money.
Own Investments Nor did Longford have any PV or wind farms of its own to generate cash to support front line services common in English County Councils. See West Suffolk
Efficiency Plan Longford has no formal energy efficiency campaign it claimed that its total energy bills amounted to only €839,200 which would be by far the lowest in the Country if accurate.
Rates In terms of its rates, Longford was saved from having ‘zero’ percent of its rates from energy by the presence the National Grid and gas infrastructure in the County providing 12.5% of their overall rates. But Longford’s Councillors are probably unaware of this as we had to go to Tailte Éireann and do a lot of work to find this out. See our research on these Tailte centrally calculated values.
It is likely that Longford’s finance department and senior management team does not realize the how transformative to Council finances the millions of pounds from renewables has been to some of the more prepared Councils around Ireland. During our youth workshop in November 23 in Downpatrick Library when we entered the figures for Longford, the group felt that Longford’s reply unintentionally almost exuded a sense of pride in being able to answer ‘nil’ to every financial question.
Big change is needed in this Council if they are to serve their ratepayers in a manner that reflects value for money and good practice.
Organised Plan The Council appears to have no plans to maximise the financial benefits to itself of the energy transition. The Council seemed unaware that ‘green energy jobs’ are forecast to grow to 125,000 in the Republic and 42,000 in Northern Ireland by 2030.
See the breakdown summary of the Council here:
|Rates Income from Renewable Energy Projects
|Income from Council’s own renewable energy
|Cumulative annualised savings from energy savings campaign
|Savings from the electrification of Council’s vehicle fleet
|Rates Income from fossil fuel plants
|Rates Income from grid infrastructure and related plant
|€ 1,098, 826
|€ 1,098, 826
We are currently crafting a request for the 22/23 Financial Year. It will be backed by professional Legal and Accounting advice and will be far more comprehensive. We have learnt a lot from this exercise.
We will be using the European Directive on Environmental information. This mandates European public bodies to provide all environmental related information to be published to a fulsome extent, at no extra cost.
We will be going back to Longford with this new template. We will be publishing both the request and the answer from Council.
A PDF of the Council’s EU Directive response will be here soon.