Councillors consider Southend’s low-carbon achievements

Published Friday, 3rd November 2017

Image of Low Carbon City Logo

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council is on track to make annual savings of £700k and 3.5k tonnes of CO2 through a range of projects that aim to establish Southend as a Low Carbon City by 2020.

At a meeting of the Cabinet on 7 November, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s Cabinet will review an annual report, outlining the success of energy initiatives implemented since the publication of its Low Carbon Energy and Sustainability Strategy in 2015.

Over the 30 months of the strategy to date, the Council has progressed with projects totalling over £19m which are progressing through to complete delivery.

On completion, these projects will have saved approximately 3,500 tonnes of CO2 each year and provided revenue and savings to the Council of £700k each year.

These projects include LED street lighting, pilot projects at Southend Adult Community College, and Temple Sutton Primary School, over 1.3MW solar on various sites and energy efficiency projects on Council properties. In most cases, delivery of projects has involved creating processes to facilitate faster and easier delivery of future projects.

Major achievements since the adoption of the strategy are as follows:

  • Southend Energy was launched in May 2015 and has delivered average savings of £250 per household per year taking up the offer, with over 5,700 customers signing up by the middle of September 2017, 8.1% of the households in Southend. Overall, £1.5m savings have been achieved. In addition, the environmental policy within the Southend Energy tariff has saved a further 1,350 tonnes CO2.
  • The Council has joined and launched the Local Energy Advice Programme, an energy industry initiative that provides free energy advice visits for vulnerable residents. Since launch in July 2017,113 households have been referred with 63 visits completed saving over £54k, an average of £867 per visit, from energy savings and income maximisation. Four hundred referrals are targeted in 2017/18 and a further 400+ will be expected in 2018/19.
  • Working with the Environment Agency (EA) and many departments and external agencies, the Council ran a successful project (TASC) to identify in more detail the likely impacts of climate change locally. This information is now being used to inform projects such as the Queensway Development, Health initiatives, Planning, Coastal Defence, Smart Cities and the Future Actions for LCESS.
  • Work through Environment Agency, Green Investment Bank and other agencies, has established the Council as a leader in development of finance packages, climate change and energy development. These lessons are being disseminated through invitations to speak at conferences and through working with other Councils on funding bids.

Cllr Ann Holland, Executive Councillor for Culture, Tourism and The Economy, said: “We are proud to be one of the few local authorities in England that publishes an annual report on the progress that we, as a Borough, are making in terms of improving our environmental performance and helping to create a more sustainable and vibrant urban landscape for all our residents, local businesses and communities to enjoy.

“The Council has made huge strides in becoming greener in the 30 months since we launched our Low Carbon Energy and Sustainability Strategy so it is right that we reflect on these achievements. We are demonstrating to authorities across the country that investment in green technology can pay both financial and environmental dividends and it is thanks to the hard work of our officers that our town is at the vanguard of this shift to a more sustainable future.”

The full report can be viewed and downloaded here under item 22 (Low Carbon Strategy).