Dozens of council buildings set to benefit from £24m carbon cutting programme
An ambitious programme to cut the carbon cost of dozens of council buildings in Leicester has reached a milestone.
Earlier this year, Leicester City Council was successful in its bid for over £24million of Government funding through the Salix Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme.
The new funding – provided by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) – will support an ambitious programme of works to improve the energy efficiency and cut the carbon footprint of over 90 city council-owned buildings, including 55 schools.
After a busy summer installing new energy saving LED lighting in over 50 buildings, work has now been completed on the first installations of new solar photo-voltaic panels on school buildings.
Wyvern Primary School, in Rushey Mead, is one of the first schools to benefit. Work is now complete on the installation of a 45-panel photo voltaic array on its main roof. The school has also seen all 880 of its light fittings upgraded to energy efficient LEDs.
These two measures will help the school cut its own carbon footprint by almost 20 tonnes per year, and make an estimated annual energy saving of around £12,500.
Solar panels are due to be fitted on 60 buildings as part of the city council’s Salix funded programme, with work now complete at three schools. It is estimated that the overall programme will see around 2,800 new solar panels installed in total – enough to cover 18 championship courts at Wimbledon.
Over 50 buildings are already benefitting from new LED lighting, and twenty more will see their lighting upgraded in the coming months.
In addition, the programme will see over 12,000 square meters of replacement double glazed window installed across 40 buildings, and 35 sites are set to benefit from new air source heat pumps to replace gas boilers.
Along with works to 55 schools, improvements will also be made to council-run leisure centres, libraries, community centres and offices. In total, 37 non-school buildings will benefit from the programme, including De Montfort Hall which will see its stage and auditorium lighting replaced with energy efficient LEDs.
It’s estimated the combined energy efficiency improvements being funded through the programme will result in an overall carbon saving of around 3,000tCO2e – equivalent to the average emissions produced by over 900 standard homes.
Deputy City Mayor Cllr Adam Clarke, who leads on environment and transportation, said: “The need to retrofit older buildings to make them energy efficient is among the many challenges presented by the climate emergency.
“This new funding was a huge boost to our low carbon ambitions as a council, and it is great to see the progress being made to help cut the carbon cost of our schools, libraries, leisure centres and other buildings.
“It is an ambitious programme of investment that will help us dramatically cut carbon emissions from our buildings and save hundreds of thousands of pounds in energy costs – something that is very welcome in these challenging times.
“It also just one part of a major, multi-million programme of investment in the city that will help us make an important step forward in our citywide response to the climate emergency.
“Now, more than ever, it is vital that we work with local partners to maintain this momentum and continue to urge central Government to support Leicester’s vision to be carbon neutral by 2030.”
Cutting the carbon footprint of the city’s buildings is a key action resulting from the first Leicester Climate Emergency Strategy. The strategy sets out an ambitious vision for how the city needs to change to move towards becoming carbon-neutral and adapting to the effects of global heating by 2030, or sooner.
To find out more visit www.leicester.gov.uk/ClimateEmergency