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Council continues to lead low carbon agenda | Southend-on-Sea Borough Council

Published Wednesday, 14th September 2016

Solar Panels, Temple Sutton, Primary school, Eastern Avenue, Southend. Picture Steve O'Connell 22-10-15

Council driven energy projects over the last eighteen months have had such an environmental impact that they have kept the equivalent of 700 cars off the road for one year.

Over 3,500 tonnes of CO2 have been saved, and provided £700,000 worth of income and savings to the council.

The CO2 savings are also equivalent to an average car being driven non-stop for nearly 16 years or the average energy needs of a house being met for 269 years.

The great success of the work is part of the council’s Low Carbon Energy and Sustainability Strategy (LCESS) that was approved in 2015, and will be discussed next week (Cabinet, 20th September – item 21).

The annual update report charts the major progress made since the strategy was approved. Since then the council has started £19m worth of energy projects, including the ongoing installation of LED street lighting across the Borough, pilot solar panel projects at Temple Sutton School and Southend Adult Community College and other energy efficiency projects on council properties.

Alongside these projects, Southend Energy was launched in May 2015, delivering average savings of £276 per household to the 5,000 now signed up to the scheme, helping to save £1.3m locally and deliver 1,200 tonnes of CO2 savings thanks to the environmental policy within the tariff.

The report also looks to the future, with the council looking for innovative opportunities to generate energy from tidal and wave power on the Pier, put more solar panelling on council buildings, and continue work on local schools using Temple Sutton as a model.  The council’s energy team are also keeping abreast of new technology and innovations and looking at ways to better manage surface water and drainage with our partners like Anglian Water.

Cllr Ann Holland, Executive Councillor for Culture, Tourism and the Economy, says: “This report shows that we are really leading the field in this area, and continue to seek innovative ways to reduce carbon emissions, be more energy efficient and help to save ourselves and local residents money.

“I am delighted that the council have been able to carry out so many low carbon projects including the installation of LED street lighting across the Borough and working with local schools to deliver solar energy.  There are further exciting times ahead, and the energy team continue to stay ahead of the game, ensuring they are on top of innovations as they continually come forwards.  I look forward to working up the detail on more pioneering future schemes that are good for the environment and good for both the council and local residents finances.”

Background to projects

A total of 754 solar panels have been installed on the roof of Temple Sutton School, providing 180,000kwh a year – around three quarters of the school’s electricity demand. Southend Adult Community College, meanwhile, has fitted 401 panels to their roofs, providing 90,000 kwh a year, approximately a third of demand.

The solar installations are just one part of a large investment programme in energy savings and generation at the sites, which l also includes such measures as biomass boilers, ground-source heat pumps, LED lighting, additional insulation, motor controls, heating controls and double glazed windows at the school.  It is estimated that 437 tonnes of CO2 will be saved every year from the new measures – the equivalent to 219 hot air balloons filled with CO2.

The initial £1.9m investment is being made by the Council on the school and college’s behalf.  The school and college will then use part of the energy cost savings to pay for the investment over the long term. Additional savings can then be used by the school and college to reinvest into education.

See the website for further information.

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