Nottingham City Council is set to become the first council to run its water services in-house after it announced its plans to become its own water supplier.
The council said that it will begin supplying water services to its own operational buildings, like leisure centres and libraries, in a bid to cut down its bills and water consumption.
The switch-over on Wednesday August 14, which will see the council’s Energy Services team taking over responsibility for the council’s water services, is expected to save the council an estimated £64,000 a year.
The council said the move will benefit Nottingham by reducing the running costs of community spaces, helping to protect funding for the council’s frontline services.
Nottingham City Council’s deputy leader Cllr Sally Longford said: ‘Becoming a water self-supplier is an exciting next step for us as we seek to further reduce costs through innovative resource efficiency across our own estate.
‘As a large consumer of water, we are looking forward to having more control over this vital resource and will be looking for ways to use water more efficiency to lower costs and improve our environmental performance.
‘We can streamline the service, cut out the margin that goes to others in the supply chain and plough the savings back into further resource efficiency projects.’
Nottingham’s plans to become a water self-supplier have been drawn up in advance with the market operators MOSL and the water services regulatory body Ofwat.
The Water Self-Supply Licence acquired by the council will allow it to buy water directly from the wholesale water supplier Severn Trent Water and manage its own water payments.
Alongside the move the council’s Energy Services team has also launched a Water Efficiency Loan Scheme (WELS), which aims to invest in water efficiency projects across the council’s buildings.
It is estimated that improvements made through WELS will save a further 10% from Nottingham’s annual water spend every year.
Wayne Bexton, head of Energy Services at Nottingham City Council, said: ‘The development of Nottingham City Council’s Water Self Supply License provides a fantastic opportunity to broaden and strengthen our experience in the energy sector; making business and financial sense.
‘We are extremely proud to be the first council who will run its own water service in-house. The reduction of operating costs for the council, allows us to share the benefits with our citizens by investing in further innovative projects to better our services, and the move supports our wider ambition of becoming a carbon-neutral city by 2028.’
Earlier this month Nottingham City Council pledged to phase out its use of single-use plastics by 2023.
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