New figures show how much councils in Sussex paid for energy.

The data, from Box Power CIC, breaks down the amount each local authority spent on energy in the year to March 31, 2023 including VAT and also how much they paid on average per kilowatt-hour.

Councils pay for electricity and gas for services and properties including offices, schools, nurseries, libraries and highways and street lighting.

The report showed West Sussex County Council spent £10,215,007 on energy and placed sixth highest in the South East.

However, the council said this figure was an error and the report had added rather than subtracted a discount it received through the Energy Bill Relief Scheme.

The figure should be £8,659,347, they said.

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A spokeswoman for West Sussex County Council said the council “works hard” to keep energy costs down by buying energy in advance through a flexible hedging strategy with Laser Energy.

“We use a significant amount of energy because we are a county authority covering a large area and compared to smaller district and borough councils, we have additional responsibilities to pay for such as street lighting, libraries, fire stations and social care,” she said.

“During the 21/22 and 22/23 financial year we were also been able to offset much of these energy bill rises through the £2.7m income we earned on average each year from our two solar farms, solar PV systems on council buildings and schools and battery installations.”

Brighton and Hove City Council spent £7,955,209 in the year to March 2023.

A council spokesman said as costs reported in the study are for the total annual purchased volume, a proportion of these costs would have been recouped through both commercial and residential service charges.

The council’s deputy leader Jacob Taylor said since 2013/14 the council has reduced electricity consumption by 34 per cent and gas consumption by 29 per cent and total carbon emissions from all fuel sources by 53 per cent.

“We use a central purchasing body for energy contracts which means we can take advantage of economies of scale in an effort to keep utility rates as low as possible,” he said.

“As a council we’ve also been working hard to reduce our energy demand by putting in energy efficiency measures across our portfolio.

East Sussex County Council spent £7,254,690.

A council spokesman said: “The figure of £7,254,690 in the year to March 2023 reflects the council’s gas and electricity expenditure inclusive of maintained schools and street lights, as well as over 350 general estate buildings including council offices, residential and day service care provisions, register offices, libraries and family hubs.

“The council has had an energy efficiency programme in place since 2008, to reduce our energy bills and carbon emissions. We have delivered 240 projects which generate savings on the council’s energy bills of approximately £920,000 per year.”

Worthing Borough Council spent £2,642,537.

Worthing paid the most in the South East per kwh with an average all in price of 63.7p.

The council was contacted for comment but did not respond.

Crawley spent £1,401,790, Eastbourne Borough Council spent £1,219,000, Horsham District Council spent £865,820, Lewes District Council £739,884, Mid Sussex District Council £415,419 and Rother District Council spent £260,047.

Box Power CIC compiled the data from various methods including public facing websites of cost expenditure, annual and sustainability reports, FOI requests and Open Government License.