Hampshire’s carbon reduction savings windfall
Hampshire County Council’s programme to reduce carbon emissions has delivered savings of almost £3 million, according to new figures from the local authority.
The County Council's Executive Member for Income and Capital Receipts, Cllr Mel Kendal, said Hampshire has exceeded its own ambitious target of reducing carbon emissions by 20 per cent; cutting CO2 emissions by more than 30,000 tonnes over five years.
These reductions have delivered a total saving of 22.8 per cent, which has meant the County Council has avoided having to pay out around £2.7 million in energy costs over the past five years.
A further £275,000 of carbon tax savings have been achieved in this year alone.
In addition, the successful installation of 20 Solar PV systems across County Council schools is now delivering efficiency savings of £20,000 per annum, and 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 has added to the savings generated last year, and a second phase of around 20 installations is now underway.
"Exceeding this challenging target, set five years ago, is a considerable achievement and demonstrates the County Council’s strong commitment to reducing its carbon footprint,” said Cllr Kendal.
“The intention is that by 2025, a further 40 per cent reduction in carbon emissions can be achieved; not only protecting the environment, but also enabling the Council to make further savings on energy costs and generate income from the national grid through the use of renewable technologies. By 2050, our ambition is to be carbon neutral."
A major programme of street lighting replacement has also contributed significantly to the reductions.
Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues