County Council cuts carbon emissions by 30,000 tonnes

Hampshire County Council has cut carbon emissions by more than 22% since 2010, exceeding its original goal.

The local authority’s cabinet set a target in 2010 of reducing carbon emissions by 20 per cent within five years, but according to the latest figures, the county council has reduced emissions by more than 30,000 tonnes of CO2 since then.

The avoided cost of energy (at current rates) is around £2.7m, with a further £275,000 carbon tax savings this year alone.

The emissions and savings achieved are thanks to an innovative programme of carbon reduction projects implemented across the County Council's estate.

In schools and office buildings, maintenance improvements such as re-roofing projects and boiler and lighting replacements have contributed substantially to the saving. 

A major programme of street lighting replacement has also contributed strongly to the reductions.

The successful installation of 20 Solar PV 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 PV 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 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"

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues