Brent Council halved the length of contracts for gas and electricity services at its buildings to help focus its efforts on achieving greener energy solutions.

Its cabinet approved plans to award contracts to electricity provider Npower and gas provider Total Gas and Power for two years from October 1.

This is a step away from the four-year timeframe that was used previously to allow the council to make “substantial changes to its purchase of energy sooner” as part of a plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.

“We want to look at how we utilise our energy resources and, hopefully, we will be looking at new sources,” said Cllr Margaret McLennan, deputy leader of Brent Council.

“This is a prelude to what we do in the future in making Brent a green authority.”

The council could not provide an accurate figure of the costs of the new contracts due to the variable nature of energy prices.

However, it noted that its energy costs last year were around £5.5 million and estimates prices could rise by five per cent in 2020/21.

According to a council report, its estate and operations are responsible for one per cent of Brent’s carbon emissions.

Last year, it declared a ‘climate emergency’ and said it would aim to achieve carbon neutrality within the next decade.

It noted that, as part of these new contracts, it will “focus on further reducing its energy usage in order to reduce its carbon footprint, and make it possible to potentially pay higher unit costs for better green credentials at the next procurement of energy”.