County Council beats carbon emissions target for a second year
Wednesday, 19 December 2012
For a second consecutive year, Hampshire County Council has beaten its target to reduce carbon emissions from its buildings, schools, street lights and other operations.
A total of over 15,500 tonnes of carbon have now been saved since 2010, which represents good progress towards the successful achievement of the first phase of Hampshire's ambitious five year Carbon Management Plan to reduce Council carbon emissions by 20% by 2015. The milestone also takes the Council more than halfway towards its overall carbon emissions target reduction of 26,360 tonnes by that date.
The achievement is the result of a raft of measures such as reducing the number of offices the Council occupies, installing controls that reduce heating fuel consumption, as well as improved lighting and glazing, together with a smart meter programme to assess energy use across a range of County Council buildings including museums, libraries, offices and care homes.
Hampshire's schools represent around 60% of the Council's total carbon emissions, and this is where the biggest reduction in energy use has taken place (10%). This is thanks to the installation of around 1,800 smart meters to measure school electricity and gas usage, good energy consumption management, and positive changes in pupils' and staff behaviour. Staff and pupils also receive training on how to use the special software that accompanies the meters, to help them to interpret their energy use, and tie it to learning in the classroom.
To help meet targets for future years, a major boiler control programme involving 1,500 installations is due to be implemented in schools which aims to cut carbon emissions by around 3,200 tonnes by 2013/14. Further work will also go ahead to install more energy efficient streetlights across Hampshire; building on the positive progress that has already been made in this area.
Work is also progressing to develop an Energy Performance Programme to improve the energy efficiency of wider County Council buildings and further reduce their carbon emissions. Meanwhile, plans are moving forward to create a District Energy Network (DEN) to reduce carbon emissions, save money, and help reduce the energy consumption of major organisations in Winchester such as the hospital, University, prison, the County Council and City Council.
Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor 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.
"As well as the clear environmental benefits from lower carbon emissions, the associated reductions in energy costs that we will experience in future should also be welcomed. 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. With fuel prices predicted to rise again in years to come, the positive steps we have already taken to cut our energy use will help us to lower our energy bills in future, and plough those savings back into providing local services to the people of Hampshire."