TEESDALE District Council is doing its bit to help protect the environment and reduce global warming.

As part of its environmental policy, the authority is closely monitoring the use of water and energy and is setting targets for reduction.

In 1999/2000, the council achieved savings in all areas of usage over the previous year.

Electricity usage was reduced by 5.52 per cent, water use by 3.5 per cent, and gas use by one per cent.

Targets for 2000/2001 have been set for water and gas to meet an overall reduction of five per cent.

The targets are being achieved in co-operation with council staff and through a green team, which is helping to raise awareness of a wide range of environmental issues.

All of the council's vehicles are now running on ultra-low- sulphur diesel fuel.

The council is also hoping to experiment with pollution-free bio-diesel but until the Government makes this a realistic proposition, the council said it will have to "bide its time".

As part of its energy campaign, the council is looking at improving its boilers, thermostats, windows and lighting in its offices. It has carried out energy surveys on all council houses and is joining forces with other councils in County Durham to promote energy conservation.

An energy advice office has been set up, and an information leaflet will be sent to local homes soon.

For more information about the campaign call the council on (0808) 1444 500.