Sligo County Council
How do we know this information?
Sligo was one of the Councils in the Republic of Ireland that took the longest to reply to our FoI responses. Well over a year. But unlike its neighbour Leitrim, Sligo did not refuse any answers.
Sligo is another County Council without a plan for the energy transition.
On-site Renewables Sligo County Council claimed to have no renewable energy installed on its premises to save money.
Own Investments Nor did Sligo 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 Sligo has no formal energy efficiency campaign and has only recently started collating information on possible energy savings. Other small Councils like Louth have savings of over E300,000pa from their energy saving campaigns including installation of cheaper renewables. Sligo could not supply us with figures on overall expenditure on energy and fuel, but it is likely to be in the millions of Euros if similar Councils are anything to go by.
Rates In terms of its rates, it had no coding in its financial systems for any of the 9 types of renewable energy except wind farms. Windfarms along with rates from the National Grid provided 9.6% of Sligo’s rates. The figure is probably higher as there are issues with their finance systems. See below.
It would appear that Sligo’s Management and Councillors are not aware of the potential benefits to the ratepayer from energy and especially localised renewable energy which is rapidly expanding.
If Sligo’s financial systems could ‘see’ the other forms of renewable energy this percentage would be a higher proportion of overall property/rates income. See N.I. example here. It is likely that Sligo’s finance department does not realize how positive renewables are on its finances and thus there are no plans to fix the coding issues in their financial systems BUT– see Donegal Council for solution.
Sligo was one of very few Councils on the Island of Ireland that was aware that the National Grid and energy infrastructure contributed to its rates. Its estimate was €65,307 per annum. But our research shows the real figure to be €1,304,131. See our research on this here Tailte centrally calculated values.
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 and that rates income from renewables is likely to increase at least sixfold. An opportunity one would think would be especially useful to Sligo given its geography and location near the border on the all-Island grid.
See the breakdown summary of the Council here:
|Rates Income from Renewable Energy Projects
|€ 1,013,731 IE
|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
|£2,317,862 pa at least
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 Sligo with this new template. We will be publishing both the request and the answer from Council. We will be letting the Council know that their response will be published.
A PDF of the Council’s EU Directive response will be here soon.