Worcestershire County Council has achieved a 24% reduction in CO2 emissions in the last 2 years.
In 2016, the Council produced a new Energy and Carbon Management Plan – a 5 year strategy to continue to significantly reduce its energy consumption, costs and carbon emissions, and future-proofing council services against rising energy costs. In the plan, the Council set a 20% carbon reduction target by 2021, which has been exceeded after just 2 years.
The Council has overseen several energy efficiency projects over recent years, including major street lighting upgrades, installation of solar panels on a number of sites, improvement in the energy efficiency of buildings, and the introduction of three electric vehicles into the Council's fleet.
Cabinet Member with Responsibility for the Environment – Councillor Tony Miller said:
""I'm immensely proud of the work that the Council and Place Partnership Limited have done in reducing our energy consumption and associated carbon emissions by almost a quarter in just 2 years, building upon the fantastic achievements in this area over the last 10 to 15 years.
Any savings in energy and carbon equate directly to financial savings for the Council, and action which we take now to become more energy efficient helps to make us more resilient to rising energy prices in the future.
The Council also has to pay a carbon tax under the Government's Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) Scheme, which last year equated to just under £200,000 on top of our actual energy bills, so any reduction in energy use going forwards will help to reduce our carbon tax burden too".
The projects that have been supported by the Council's Spend to Save Fund are saving the Council approximately £180,000 every year, and when schools are taken into account, who are benefitting from early investment from the fund, savings are just over £400,000 every year.
The County Council's carbon reduction has also been helped by the increase in renewable energy generation in the National Grid. Coupling this with significant progress in actually cutting direct energy consumption has made this major decrease in our carbon emissions possible.
Publishing an annual Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions report allows for a broader look at wider emissions across the Council's service delivery. This includes additional data encompassing outsourced contractors (where available), and emissions from household waste disposal.
The Council's GHG emissions have reduced by 33% since 2009/10, with a 19% reduction achieved last year alone.
This reduction was mainly due to the move from sending Worcestershire residents' household waste to landfill, to our new energy from waste facility, EnviRecover.