Ambitious plans by Reigate & Banstead Borough Council to cut its energy costs and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by a massive 30 per cent over five years were given the go-ahead by the Executive last Thursday (25 March 2010).
The ‘Carbon Management Plan’, developed in partnership with the Carbon Trust, is a detailed action plan which sets out how the Council plans to achieve its targets of a 10 per cent CO2 saving during 2010-11 and 30 per cent saving by 31 March 2014. The measures will also deliver significant financial savings.
Cllr Julian Ellacott, Executive Member for Environment, said:
“Just as for households and businesses, the Council has to examine its operations and find ways of reducing its energy costs – especially with costs likely to increase in future. It is also important that the Council plays a leading role in demonstrating that significant cuts are possible. This plan represents the Council’s firm commitment to tackling its own contribution.
“To achieve the required savings the Council needs to invest £1.5 million, £1.1 million of which is already budgeted for through existing planned projects and maintenance such as lighting improvements and leisure centre refurbishment projects.
“By cutting our carbon emissions we will make significant financial savings on our energy bills in the medium to long term, helping to keep Council Tax down in future. It will also give us some protection against fluctuating energy costs which are predicted to increase significantly into the future.
“We expect to save £390,000 per year to 2014 and beyond, meaning our investment will pay for itself in about 4 years. All of the measures in the plan have been rigorously tested to ensure that they will provide a financial payback.”
The Council has already invested in a number of projects to help lower its carbon emissions and energy and some of the early successes that will count towards our targets are a reduction in gas use at Earlswood depot this year by over 50 per cent through improved energy management and fitting energy efficient lighting in Reigate’s Bancroft Road multi-storey car park, saving over £17,000 per year.
Other projects that will result in energy savings include:
- the new Horley leisure centre – its energy usage will be some 30 per cent lower per square metre than that of the existing Horley Anderson Centre.
- the refurbishment of Donyngs leisure centre, Redhill
- refurbishment of the Harlequin Theatre
- improvements to heating and cooling controls and energy management
- further lighting improvement projects
- staff ‘green teams’ which encourage careful resource management amongst council employees.
The full detail of the measures planned for the next 5 years can be found in the full report to the Executive. The Council has already signed up to the 10:10 campaign, whereby it intends to reduce its carbon footprint by 10% during 2010 – the Carbon Management Plan extends this into a significantly more ambitious set of energy efficiency measures.