Hampshire County Council has saved almost £3 million from a series of energy efficiency initiatives, cutting its carbon emissions by more than a third in the process.
Latest figures released by the council have shown a decrease in carbon emissions of 35.8% compared to 2010 as it moves towards its target of a 40% reduction by 2025 before becoming carbon neutral by 2030.
This performance has saved the local authority around £2.9 million from its energy costs, as well as a further £200,000 in annual carbon tax savings.
Councillor Mel Kendal, executive member for economic development said: “In just six years we have cut our emissions from 54,200 tonnes in 2010 to 34,813 tonnes this year. We’re now accelerating towards our 2025 target of cutting our emissions to 32,500 tonnes, which seemed very ambitious a few years ago.
“The considerable reduction in our carbon emissions not only protects the environment, but also enables the county council to make further savings on energy costs and generate income from the national grid through renewable technologies.
“If this progress continues at the same rate, I’ve little doubt we’ll achieve our ambition to make further positive reductions and likely exceed our 2025 target. This is great news for Hampshire taxpayers and the environment.”
Alongside ‘good energy saving habits’ adopted by council staff and pupils in Hampshire’s 500 plus schools, maintenance improvements such as re-roofing projects and boiler and lighting replacements in schools and office buildings have contributed substantially to the saving.
The council has also installed 23 solar PV systems across a number of its buildings, generating 450MWh annually and delivering savings of around £45,000.
A major programme of street lighting replacements to more efficient lamps has also contributed strongly to the reductions, while the council has also ensured that carbon management has become a key considering in all new refurbished and extended building projects.
Local authorities have emerged at the forefront of energy efficiency efforts in the wake of continued budget cuts and the opportunities for substantial savings. Edinburgh City Council recently signed an energy efficiency contract with E.ON subsidiary Matrix which is expected to result in a 24% reduction in costs across nine buildings.
Nottingham City Council recently met its climate change targets four years early after achieving a 33% reduction in carbon emissions since 2005 after mobilising support from across the city, including members of the private sector.