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CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

Refreshed energy plan supports carbon pledge

More solar panels, LED lights and electric vehicle chargers feature in plans

a green lightbulb

Leicestershire County Council is to set out its plans for further energy saving over the next decade as it moves closer towards its target of being carbon neutral by 2030. 

The authority has saved hundreds of thousands of pounds in recent years by reducing energy consumption throughout its buildings, using a variety of energy-efficient measures such as installing solar panels and LED lighting. 

The revised Strategic Property Energy Strategy will support a green covid recovery and will involve tailoring energy upgrades with new digital ways of working in mind. 

The next targets are to make a 30-to-50 per cent further reduction in energy consumption from council buildings, compared with last year, along with a 50 per cent increase in onsite renewable or zero-carbon energy generation. 

Among the projects planned for the next year are increasing the amount of solar panels and LED lighting at County Hall, introducing solar panels and electric vehicle chargers at Snibston Colliery Park and investigating low carbon heating solutions at other council-owned properties. It is also hoped to install large scale energy generation schemes such as solar farms on council land. 

We are proud to be a green council and we continue to concentrate our efforts on reducing carbon by using renewable or zero-carbon energy generation wherever possible. In recent years we have made big savings on our gas and electricity bills and we continue to make huge strides in our journey to become carbon neutral by 2030.

Councillor Byron Rhodes, cabinet member for strategic property

Saving energy and generating renewable energy are at the core of the council’s plan to achieve net zero carbon and council construction projects are already carried out in a sustainable manner.  

Key energy saving projects have seen solar panels being installed at numerous buildings owned by the authority, including Beaumanor Hall, Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre, Enderby Adult Learning Centre and Loughborough Family and Wellbeing Centre. LED lighting upgrades were also delivered at many council properties and 25 electric vehicle chargers installed at places including County Hall, highways depots and Coalville Business Centre. 

Schools, academies, tenants and developers will also be encouraged to implement low carbon solutions. 

It is hoped to attract private investment or grant funding to help with implementing the Energy Strategy Action Plan, which is to be considered by the Scrutiny Commission on Monday (15 March) and by the Cabinet on March 23 - watch online

 

Find out more

  • Since our first carbon targets were set in 2008, our greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon have reduced by 67 per cent
  • In 2012/13, our gas and electricity costs amounted to £1.64m - with utility prices forecasted to significantly increase, the energy strategy was drawn up to take steps to reduce our energy consumption
  • By October 2016, all targets had been exceeded – we had made a 25 per cent reduction in annual energy consumption, saved £420,000 on our annual energy bill and 4.5 per cent of energy was now from renewable sources
  • Further targets in saving both energy and water were set in 2017 and in May 2019, we declared a ‘climate emergency’ and set a ‘net zero carbon’ target for our operations to be achieved by 2030
  • The amount of renewable energy generated from our properties as a percentage of total energy consumed by such properties was 15.6% at the end of 2019-20, above the 14 per cent target

 

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