DORSET Council and its partners are unlikely to enter into a ‘green’ energy deal – despite calls for them to do so.

Cabinet members are being asked next week to approve a similar £7 million a year agreement to the one they already have as part of a ‘buyers club’ run by Kent County Council for gas and electric.

The arrangements also include Dorset schools and operations run by other public organisations such as Tricuro.

A report says by entering into a deal with a ‘green’ supplier is expected to cost more and be more risky for future deals  – and is not recommended.

It also says that the Government guidelines are for all public sector organisations to adopt contracts such as the one offered by the professional buying organisation (PBO) set up by Kent Council, known as LASER.

It is claimed that the organisation has produced prices, on average, 4.5 per cent below the major users average.

Dorset Council itself spends £2.8m a year on electricity and £400,000 on gas with its partners, mainly schools and colleges, Tricuro and some town and parish councils, making up the rest of the £7.15m a year contract.

Councillors will be told that there is some scope for buying renewable energy under the LASER deal with the consortium being able to purchase renewable energy direct from producers, such as solar or wind farms, including those in Dorset.

An officer’s report says that buying energy via the ‘green tariff’ is not backed by the Government and Ofgem has stated there is no evidence that doing so “materially supports the production of renewable energy”.

“The Government’s latest guidance for its own departments specifically precludes counting energy purchased through a green tariff as zero carbon3. This would appear to limit the benefits of adopting such green tariffs,” said the report.

Cabinet members are being recommended to continue the deal they currently have with LASER for up to four years.