Letter: Hackney Council was right to axe its eco-energy contract

I think [your reporter] Josh Loeb is missing the point in ‘Is Town Hall turning a lighter shade of green?’ (Summer 2009).

The council may have reverted to buying fossil-fuel-generated electricity from the grid, rather than continuing to purchase a green tariff (and I’m disappointed to hear about the huge increase in their bills) – but I would in fact applaud their decision to invest the money saved in energy efficiency.

It’s a well-known fact the ‘carbon hierarchy’ advocates cutting down on energy use before looking at the source of the energy. As the Friends of the Earth spokesperson was quoted as saying, their “top priority” should be energy efficiency, albeit in people’s homes.

I would be interested to hear what type of measures they are introducing, rather than simply slamming them.

It is no good getting fixated on generating a proportion of our electricity from renewables if we are using more than energy than we need in the first place, because it is going out of ill-fitted windows, non-insulated walls and being sucked up by electricity-hungry appliances.

I find your publication very refreshing after the council’s own paper – both in terms of editorial and design. I’d be even more impressed if it didn’t slate what seems quite a sensible decision to me, in the name of a ‘scoop’.

Hannah Bullock
Stoke Newington

Editor’s response:

Through a Freedom of Information request, the Hackney Citizen has learnt that of the £46,000 that the council saved by leaving the ‘green’ tariff, around £34,000 was spent on energy-savings measures, which in turn saved the council £73,515.

This leaves a ‘green credit’ of £39,515, which nearly covers the cost of the green tariff – for around an extra £7,000 the council could have remained on it.