A Suffolk council is providing assurances that it is delivering on its Net Zero commitments after figures revealed that the use of gas had increased at its HQ.

Figures obtained by the EADT via a Freedom of Information (FoI) request showed that the amount of gas used at Suffolk County Council's Endeavour House headquarters in Ipswich had risen sharply during the COVID-19 pandemic, before dropping again, although usage remained higher than pre-pandemic.

During the financial year 2019/20, 822,086kWh of gas was used at the council's Russell Road home, but the following year, 2020/21, this figure had risen to 1,298,029kWh and remained over 1,000,000kWh for the next two years, before dropping to 940,174kWh in 2023/24.

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The amount of money spent on gas has also risen sharply - from £26,966 in 2019/20 to £52,478 in 2023/24.

However, electricity usage at Endeavour House had dropped over the same period - from 2,535,452kWh in 2019/20 to 1,789,457kWh in 2023/24.

Meanwhile, the data for other county council properties in Ipswich, including Beacon House, Constantine House and Landmark House demonstrated a drop in both gas and electricity usage.

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Councillor Philip Faircloth-Mutton, the council’s cabinet member for environment, communities and equality, said: “Suffolk County Council has been working hard and is delivering on its commitment to be Net Zero by 2030, with positive results and our overall energy use falling year-on-year.

“In 2021 we announced an investment of £12.8 million to decarbonise our estate, around 100 buildings from schools to offices to fire stations, across urban and rural locations.

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“Over the last six years, we have reduced the footprint of energy use across our main sites by 38%. At Endeavour House alone, the reduction has been 41%.

“We are managing complex buildings like Endeavour House more effectively and efficiently than ever before.

"Getting to Net Zero by 2030 is a challenge, but one we know is the right thing to tackle. It is a long journey, but our hard work is continuing to reduce our carbon emissions.”

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