HAMPSHIRE County Council has beaten its carbon emission reduction targets for the second year in a row.

The council successfully reduced CO2 emissions from its buildings, schools and street lights.

It means more than 15,500 tonnes of CO2 have been saved since 2010, more than half of the council's overall target of cutting 26,360 tonnes by 2015.

The council is also creating a District Energy Network to tackle emissions in Winchester buildings such as the hospital, university, prison and council offices.

Council leader Ken Thornber said: “Hampshire is one of the largest councils in the country with around 5,000 buildings, 150,000 street lights and illuminated signs, and over 5,000 miles of roads, so to deliver and exceed our Carbon Reduction Plan target for a second consecutive year is a real accomplishment.

“The total reduction in carbon emissions we have achieved so far means we have reduced our energy bill by £1.5million, mainly because less heating fuel is now needed.”

The reduction came from a number of methods including cutting the number of council offices, reducing heating fuel consumption and improved lighting and glazing.

The biggest energy drop came in Hampshire schools, which make up 60 per cent of the council's total emissions, after it cut 10 per cent. A major boiler control plan is also being implemented to cut 3,200 tonnes from schools by 2014.