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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 4th January 2012

 

Report of the Cabinet Member for Visible and Building Services

 

Carbon Management Plan - Progress Report

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To provide an update on work being undertaken to reduce carbon emissions.

Recommendations

1.             To note progress with a number of projects in the Carbon Management Action Plan.

2.             To approve the revised Carbon Management Action Plan.

3.             To note work undertaken with the Local Service Board (LSB) partners and the Carbon Trust to improve energy performance.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             To ensure that Members are aware of progress with carbon management across the Council.

2.             The Carbon Management Group is able to proceed in delivering schemes to reduce carbon emissions.

3.             To ensure that Members are aware of partnership work being undertaken to reduce energy use and costs.

 

Background

2.             The Carbon Management Strategy and Implementation Plan were approved by Cabinet in April 2008 (minute no.C3485) and include a target to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 20% by 2016.

3.             A Carbon Management Group which is chaired by the Director of Environmental and Economic Regeneration and which meets every two months has been responsible for overseeing the delivery of the plan.

Relevant Issues and Options

4.             The action plan which supports the strategy has recently been reviewed by the Carbon Management Group and progress has been noted (Appendix A).  A revised plan has been drafted (Appendix B) with actions amended and new actions added to help achieve the 20% reduction target by 2016. Appendix C provides details of the financial spend and carbon dioxide savings associated with the Salix fund which is currently the main delivery method for the Carbon Management Plan. There is a considerable amount of activity across the Council to reduce energy use and carbon emissions and there has been a reduction of 2.4% in building related carbon emissions for 2010/11 compared to 2009/10.  With improved data collection and by implementing more energy efficient projects the target is to continue this improvement. 

5.             The delivery of the action plan will continue to be monitored through the Carbon Management Group. The action plan is structured around the following four objectives.

·               Embed carbon management as a corporate priority which is reflected in key strategies and plans - This objective focuses on ensuring that there is a clear and consistent message in key documents. The Council is committed to reducing carbon emissions and activities are detailed so that progress can be monitored and achievements recognised.

·               Raise awareness of how and why to save energy - This objective recognises the need to ensure all staff understand the contribution they can make to reducing carbon emissions as individuals and as teams. Activities to publicise our achievements are included in this section.

·               Undertake improvements to council buildings to reduce energy use - Activities detailed under this objective focus on physical improvements to our buildings including schools and form part of the Council's Asset Management Strategy. Actions include cavity wall insulation, loft insulation and boiler replacement. Many of the works are funded through Salix.

·               Provide accurate data regarding energy use across the Council to support monitoring and identify areas to target - A major step forward for the Council is the gathering of accurate data to provide a clearer picture of energy use and costs and also areas to target. The installation of Automatic Meter Reading in all Council properties including schools will provide accurate data on energy use for each building, this is essential for the Carbon Reduction Commitment.

Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC)

6.             The CRC is a mandatory scheme for large public and private sector organisations in the UK and commenced in 2010. The scheme is part of a package of measures within the Climate Change Act, which aims to save over 4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2020. As a participant the Council is required to accurately measure carbon emissions and provide an annual footprint report. The footprint report was for just under 20,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide created, while the annual report which contained the figure on which a carbon tax will be applied in 2012 was for just under 18,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.  The first tax for CRC is expected to cost the Council about £160,000 this compares with other local authorities who are expecting costs of £220,000.

7.             Under CRC, estimated readings incur a10% uplift so it is vital that actual readings are provided to suppliers regularly. Over the past year the Council has been organising the installation of Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) facilities. The information from the AMR improves billing accuracy, makes it easier to compile the CRC reports and provides information that building managers can use to identify energy waste. The first payment will be based on how much energy we consume during 2011–12 so we need everyone to reduce energy waste as much as possible.

8.             Most of the gas and electricity supply meters that were included in the first AMR installation request list have been installed.  A list of meters for the second round of electricity AMR installation has been prepared.  This includes supplies which have only recently transferred into the Welsh Purchasing Consortium (WPC) contract and also includes the landlord lighting supplies. There are a handful of supplies which are still not in the WPC contract although most are in the process of transferring at the end of their current contracts.  Some budget holders have been unwilling to transfer supplier unless they can be guaranteed it will be cheaper.  This is impossible to do for an individual supply although WPC provides reports of the savings the consortium make for the Vale of Glamorgan Council overall.

 Salix Funding

9.             Salix is an independent company funded by the Carbon Trust to work with the public sector to reduce carbon emissions through investment in energy efficiency.  The Council has been provided with £225,000 funding by Salix as part of a match funded ring fenced rolling fund to assist in the implementation of the Carbon Management Plan. The funding was provided in tranches with the final tranche of £45,000 being received earlier this year.

10.        39 projects to reduce carbon emissions have been implemented or are being explored utilising Salix funding. Projects are evaluated on a carbon reduction per pound spent criteria and the initial focus has been on insulation projects as they generally pass the evaluation criteria. 

Achievements

11.        The Council is making good progress in spending the Salix funding and compares well with the other five authorities in the South Wales region with Salix funds.  To date the Vale of Glamorgan Council spend is £358,000  with a further £226,000 of projects agreed and awaiting installation and a further £95,000 worth of projects considered viable and awaiting agreement from budget holders. 

12.        The aim is to spend all the available monies on qualifying projects using the fund repayments from previous projects as they become available.  These projects are predicted to save the authority £120, 000 per year in fuel costs and reduce emissions by 900 Tonnes per annum.  The lifetime savings (which take into account the persistence factors of each particular technology) for Salix match funded measures is predicted to be £3 million and 22,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.

13.        To date fifty three energy efficiency improvement installations have been installed. This includes thirty insulation installations, building lighting improvements, street lighting improvements, voltage optimization, pool cover installation and power switch timers. Major projects being taken forward include lighting upgrades to Penarth Leisure Centre and the installation of dimmable ballasts to certain street lamps. It is predicted that the lighting upgrade at the Leisure Centre will save approximately £13,000 per annum and save about 135 Tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.

14.        Between 1st January 2010 and 31st March 2011 various street lighting initiatives have resulted in an annual carbon dioxide reduction of approximately 79 tonnes.  In the 2011/12 financial year approximately 49 tonnes of carbon dioxide have been saved to date and it is expected that there will be savings of £8,000. LED and lower wattage white lighting units are now being used on street lighting maintenance replacement works and are specified for new Section 38/278 developments. A minimum of forty existing street lighting units will be replaced with an LED type before the end of the current financial year. A rolling programme to fit dimmable electronic ballasts to existing street lighting is underway and this will reduce annual energy costs and carbon dioxide emissions by 25% per unit.

15.        All Belisha Beacons and School Crossing Patrol Flasher Units have been converted to a lower wattage LED type and solar-powered bollards are used in the replacement of conventional electrically-supplied types. Non-illuminated bollards are also used where legally authorised to do so. All traffic signal wait lamps have also been replaced with lower wattage LED lamps.

16.        Pool covers have been installed at Barry and Penarth Leisure Centres and these projects have the benefit of a higher public profile and if used daily will achieve significant savings.

17.        Some of the monies earned from the Salix fund have been used to commission an audit of the IT server rooms in the Civic Offices. The results of this audit have been used to draft plans to amalgamate these rooms which could potentially halve the energy consumption associated with them.

18.        General energy audits of the Civic Offices and Barry Town Hall and Library have been undertaken and reports of the findings have been drafted and are being discussed with officers before being finalised. The reports and recommendations will help identify ways to improve energy performance. 

Working in Partnership

19.        The Local Service Board (LSB) has agreed a target for partners to reduce their annual carbon emissions by 3%. Work has been undertaken with the Carbon Trust to establish which are the worst performing buildings and partners have agreed to take steps to reduce the carbon emissions of their buildings located in the Vale.  The LSB Asset Management Group is overseeing this work.

20.        The group meets quarterly with partners providing updates on the work they are undertaking to reduce emissions, including swapping information from energy audits, powersave initiatives on computers which puts them into a sleep mode and improvements to buildings including changes to thermostatic radiator valves and lighting control systems.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment and Climate Change, if appropriate)

21.        The actions outlined in this report will lead to financial savings and a reduction in carbon emissions. To obtain the Salix funding the Council has agreed to ring fence the Carbon Management fund so that annual savings are repaid into the fund and it becomes self perpetuating. Provided that the fund is managed in the way that Salix prescribe then no repayment to Salix will be required and the payments by Salix are effectively an open ended interest free loan.

22.        The first tax for CRC is expected to cost the Council about £160,000.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

23.        There are no legal implications associated with this report.

Crime and Disorder Implications

24.        There are no crime and disorder implications associated with this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

25.        There are no equal opportunities implications associated with this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

26.        Carbon management has links to the Regeneration and Corporate Resources corporate priorities and the following improvement objectives.

·               To protect and enhance the Vale's natural and built environment

·               To make the best use of our assets and to procure good, sustainable services and facilities.

Policy Framework and Budget

27.        The report is a matter for Executive decision by Cabinet.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

28.        Not Applicable

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

29.        Corporate Resources

Background Papers

Carbon Management Plan

Annual Report 2010/11 (27 September 2011)

Footprint Report 2010/11 (27 September 2011)

 

Contact Officer

David Powell (Energy Manager) - 01446 709576

 

Officers Consulted

Head of Financial Services

Carbon Management Group

 

Responsible Officer:

Rob Quick - Director of Environmental and Economic Regeneration

 

 

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