Thursday 26 January 2023
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HMRC makes moves to reduce lighting costs at Nottingham HQ

The Nottingham HMRC HQ, accused of wastefully leaving lights on overnight, ran up an electricity bill of more than £500,000 in six  months.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), based at the new Unity Square office block on Sheriffs Way, came in for criticism  for leaving its office lights on outside normal working hours.

It prompted locals including Nottingham South Labour MP Lilian Greenwood to question how it was spending taxpayers’ money at a time the country faces a cost of living crisis.

Others said the building was often “lit up like a Christmas tree” outside of working hours.

Ms Greenwood has since received a written reply from the Government to a question on the building’s bills.

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In a Tweet on November 15 she said: “Over the last six months the electricity bill for HMRC’s Unity Square building came to a total of £557,805.20 – and the largest monthly bill was in August.

“The good news is that action does seem to be under way to address concerns about the lighting and energy efficiency.”

Ms Greenwood posted a full breakdown of the costs by each month between April and September this year.

The highest monthly bill was August, which came to £113,345.46.

And the lowest bill was in May, at £79,107.16.

A HMRC said that, by moving to regional centres, the department will save around £300 million cumulatively up to the year 2025 to 2026 and will deliver annual cash savings of £74 million in the year 2025 to 2026, before rising to around £90m from 2028 to 2029.

It is also said Unity Square has been designed and built to a BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) ‘excellent’ standard.

This involves bolstering efficient energy and water use, waste, and health and well-being with a significant amount relying on modern technical solutions that are “still being fine-tuned”.

HMRC added: “We have had lighting specialists on site to reduce the length of time the lights stay on after last detected movement.

“We have been monitoring this carefully, and the position is significantly improved, with some further minor works under way.

“We are committed to reducing our environmental impact and sustainability is at the heart of our regional centres. We work to ensure all our buildings operate effectively and efficiently.”

According to Ms Greenwood, Victoria Atkins Financial Secretary to the Treasury, said the length of time lights remain on after activation is expected to be reduced from 30 minutes to 10 minutes.

•  Government under fire from Nottingham MPs over Christmas Tree HMRC building

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