Cheshire East Council has made great strides with decarbonising buildings across the borough, as it continues to progress towards a carbon neutral future.
In May 2019, the council recognised the climate emergency, committing to becoming carbon neutral in its own operations by 2025 and in supporting the wider borough to take action to reduce their emissions. Since then, the council has been working on many projects to progress the recommended actions in its carbon neutral action plan.
With funding support from the government’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, Cheshire East has worked with partner Equans to design and deliver energy solutions in buildings right across the borough, including leisure centres, libraries, depots and day centres.
The funding, totalling around £8.5m, has so far seen the council install:
· More than 3,000 solar panels on 16 buildings;
· Improved building insulation;
· LED lighting upgrades;
· Air source heat pumps in Macclesfield’s Town Hall and indoor market and also in Wilmslow library, and;
· Improved energy control systems.
The work completed to date is expected to reduce the council’s carbon emissions by around 508 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, the equivalent of driving more than a million miles in a standard car.
Councillor Mick Warren, chair of Cheshire East Council’s environment and communities committee, said: “Today is ‘Decarbonisation Day’ at COP27, a time when world leaders, ministers, climate activists and others meet for the largest annual gathering on climate action. So this is a great opportunity to focus on the impressive amount of work undertaken by the council to tackle the carbon emissions from energy in our buildings.
“Our carbon neutral by 2025 target is based on an assessment of the council’s carbon emissions during 2018-19, with electricity and gas in our buildings accounting for more than half of the total emissions. So clearly, reducing these emissions has been a key priority within our carbon neutral action plan.
“It’s really impressive to see the huge amount of work already undertaken to make buildings across the borough more energy efficient and sustainable for the future. We will continue to strive towards achieving our ambitious goal of becoming carbon neutral as a council by 2025 through other projects, which we hope will be as successful as the carbon reduction measures installed in our buildings.
“Thank you to our partner, Equans, who have worked at speed to plan and deliver the improvements needed to support our building decarbonisation.”
Ryan Pearce, partnership director at Equans, said: “The partnership between Cheshire East Council and Equans demonstrates that when organisations come together with alignment in aims and capability with passionate people, real progress can be made.
“Equans are proud to be supporting the council to achieve its ambitions to become net zero carbon by 2025 and have every confidence this will be achieved.”
The next phase of building decarbonisation work will include the installation of more solar panels and a further 12 air source heat pumps.
Cheshire East Council has many projects underway to become carbon neutral by 2025. You can find out more by visiting: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/carbonneutral.