Work to improve energy efficiency and install low-carbon technologies has started at more than 60 city-owned sites with grants of £19million. So far, 40 heating management system upgrades have been completed, 15 lighting upgrades finalized and six solar panel projects completed.
County Hall is the latest site where updates and upgrades are being implemented. It will see a significant number of solar panels and replacement windows installed to help reduce emissions.
Other measures include the installation of an air-source heat pump in one of the annexes and energy-efficient lighting throughout the site. Free Air Cooling, an approach to lower air temperature using naturally cool air, will be installed in the council’s data center.
Changes to County Hall alone are expected to save over 100 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year. It is also expected to generate financial savings of around £69,000 per year, based on current energy prices.
In total, more than 100 council-owned buildings will benefit from this scheme, including leisure centers and local schools and academies.
Work began at a number of schools during the mid-term break to minimize disruption to staff and pupils, with solar installations being completed at Westfield Arts College and Bincombe Valley School. Solar panels were installed before half term at venues including Salway Ash Primary School, Cheselbourne Village School and Conifers Primary School.
The project is possible thanks to the successful award of the Public Sector Decarbonization Program grant, following a bid from the Sustainability Team and Council Assets and Property. The work is part of the council’s action plan to address the climate and ecological emergency and will help the council achieve its 2040 carbon neutral target.
Cllr Ray Bryan, Dorset Council portfolio holder for highways, travel and the environment, said:
“This work is an important step towards our goal of becoming a carbon neutral consultancy. In addition to the impact it will have on the council’s carbon footprint, we hope that the expected co-benefits, such as financial savings on energy costs, will encourage others to explore similar measures for their own properties. .
“Colleagues are working hard to ensure the project is delivered on time, making the best use of the funding to make our buildings greener and cleaner. This is an extremely ambitious project, the officers go above and beyond to implement the program alongside their regular duties, under difficult circumstances and within tight deadlines. »