Hampshire County Council has exceeded its ambitious target of reducing carbon emissions by 20 per cent that was set by Cabinet in 2010. Emissions have been reduced by more than 30,000 tonnes of CO2 over five years – a total saving of 22.8 per cent. The avoided cost of energy (at current rates) is around £2.7m, with a further £275,000 carbon tax savings this year alone.
Councillor Mel Kendal, Executive Member for Income and Capital Receipts said: “This achievement demonstrates the success of the County Council’s proactive approach to carbon reduction, resulting in energy cost savings and a healthier outlook for Hampshire’s environment. It was a challenging target and we have exceeded it.
“Our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint is protecting Hampshire’s environment, enabling us to make savings on energy costs and generate income from the national grid through the use of renewable technologies. I believe it is important that the County Council takes a lead in this important area that delivers additional benefits beyond the substantial cost savings.”
The emissions and savings achieved are thanks to an innovative programme of carbon reduction projects implemented across the County Council’s estate, through the use of leading-edge technology. In schools and office buildings, maintenance improvements such as re-roofing projects and boiler and lighting replacements have contributed substantially to the saving. Carbon management is also a key consideration in all new building projects designed by the County Council’s in-house Property Services designers and engineers – and is considered not just in new buildings, but in refurbishments and extensions as well. A major programme of street lighting replacement has also contributed strongly to the reductions.
The successful installation of 20 Solar Photovoltaic systems across the County Council’s schools estate is now delivering efficiency savings of £20,000 per annum, generating 200,000 kWh of power every year. A successful pilot of solar photovoltaic energy generation on three of the County Council’s corporate buildings added to the savings generated last year and a second phase of around 20 installations is now under way
Cllr Kendal said: “Our pilot on office buildings proved that solar panels are a cost-effective method of saving on energy costs and carbon emissions, and we are now rolling more out across schools and the corporate estate. Energy costs are considerable and over £2.7 million of savings in this area is great news for taxpayers.”
The “Do your Energy Bit” behaviour-change initiative has also encouraged good energy habits among Council staff and the staff and pupils of Hampshire’s 500+ schools, delivering reductions in energy usage along side innovative technical programmes.
Learn more about how the County Council is cutting carbon emissions.