Canny Scots councils are securing better deals on electricity and gas for taxpayers than their English counterparts, it has been revealed.

New figures show Scotland's local authorities spent £284,635,100 in energy costs in the past year with questions raised about whether councils are procuring the most cost-effective tariffs.

Using freedom of information legislation, the not-for-profit energy consultancy Box Power CIC uncovered the usage and spending of every UK council and other public bodies.

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Costs for Scottish councils are today revealed for the first time - and show local authorities in Scotland had spent less on electricity and gas than other councils across the UK, including their counterparts in England for the April 2022 to March 2023 period.

North Lanarkshire Council and West Lothian Council were found to have purchased less than the UK average while Glasgow City Council had the highest usage of any UK local authority - but not the highest costs.

Corin Dalby, CEO of Box Power CIC, said: “These results on energy buying for Scottish councils have been revealed for the first time.

"They are an interesting look at how local authorities have bought and spent on their electricity and gas.

"Scottish councils, typically, paid the UK council average or less."

The typical spend across the UK was 32p/p/kwh for electricity and 9p/p/kwh for gas.

However, councils in Scotland typically purchased far less than this and accounted for 20 of the cheapest 60 on the table.

North Lanarkshire Council and West Lothian Council bought less than the UK council average. North Lanarkshire bought electricity at 17.5p/p/kwh and gas at 7p/p/kwh.

West Lothian Council, meanwhile, purchased at 17.4p/p/kwh on electricity and 7p/p/kwh on gas.

Manchester City Council, by comparison, bought 40,830,763 kwh of electricity for £25,357,000, whereas Fife Council bought 77,516,513 kwh of electricity and paid £16,477,012.

Manchester City Council paid 62.1p/p/kwh for electricity whereas Fife Council paid 21.3/p/kwh for their electricity.

West Lothian Council bought 61,579,911kwh of gas and paid £4,339,157 compared to Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council which bought 62,020,382 and paid £12,131,311.

As stated, West Lothian Council bought gas at 7p/p/kwh whereas Rotherham bought their gas for 19.6p/p/kwh.c A North Lanarkshire Council spokesperson said the council had looked in recent years at how to cut energy consumption and implement energy efficiency in council buildings.

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He added: "North Lanarkshire Council has invested heavily in reducing our energy consumption over the years, including reducing the number of buildings that we operate, installing new more energy efficient boilers and new windows in schools."

A spokesperson for Glasgow City Council said: “Glasgow is the largest local authority in Scotland and our figures includes the schools estate, which is our largest consumer of energy.

“We constantly monitor our energy consumption and associated costs to ensure we provide best value for council tax payers.”

Scottish local authorities procure energy through a Scottish Government procurement processes and can purchase volumes of energy at different times.

This includes pre-purchasing at set rates. The figures detail costs from the financial year 2022/23 at the peak of the energy crisis that followed Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, which may have lead to higher bills.

However Mr Dalby added: "It’s simply not the case that factors such as the war in Ukraine made it inevitable that some authorities would have purchased at a much higher rate – as the disparities between the prices paid in our Performance Table clearly shows.

"Each council's energy costs have been undisclosed until we released the Box Power CIC Performance Table.

"If they have so far been oblivious to each other's performance, then no council, in our view, could honestly demonstrate that they are achieving value for money "That means if they have so far been oblivious to each other's performance, then no council, in our view, could honestly demonstrate that they are achieving value for money if they have nothing to compare to.

"We will continue to call for greater transparency and openness within the energy market, so we help bring in fairer energy prices for businesses, public bodies and individuals."

In Scotland, Glasgow City Council, the country's largest local authority, had the highest energy spend at £42,388,857 with Edinburgh City Council coming in next at £27,455,000.

However, while Glasgow spent £24m in 2022/23 on electricity - for the highest usage in the UK - Liverpool's city council spent £34m for half the electricity units used by its Scottish counterpart.

Glasgow City Council had the third highest gas usage in the UK but one of the lower spends.

UK-wide, Box Power claims local authorities could have saved around £660,000,000 if the top half of the table on pence per kwh price purchased, had achieved the same rate as the bottom half.

Cosla, the umbrella body for Scottish local authorities, was approached for comment.

Glasgow City Council has been approached for a response.