Council offers update on low carbon energy report

Published Thursday, 8th February 2018

Southend pier

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s annual Low Carbon Energy and Sustainability report shows that the Council is making fantastic progress with reducing their carbon footprint.

The report, which outlines the Council’s plans to establish Southend-on-Sea as a low carbon, smart city by 2020, was reviewed in November 2017 and showed the success of recent energy initiatives implemented since the publication of the Low Carbon Energy and Sustainability Strategy in 2015.

Since the strategy was implemented, the Council has progressed with projects totalling over £19m. Once all these projects have been completed, the projects will have saved approximately 3,500 tonnes of CO2 each year and provided revenue and savings to the Council of £700k each year.

Some key achievements since the introduction of the strategy are as follows:

  • The Council has successfully completed a £13.5 million LED street light replacement programme through a pioneering finance agreement with the Green Investment Bank.
  • The Council joined and launched Local Energy Advice Programme (LEAP), an energy industry initiative that provides free energy advice visits for vulnerable residents. Since the launch in July 2017, 180 households have been referred with 107 visits completed saving over £100k, an average of £934 per visit, from energy savings and income maximisation. A further 400 referrals are targeted for 2017/18 and a further 400+ in 2018/19.
  • Southend Energy continues to grow and in just two years has saved residents in excess of £1.5 million on their energy bills and no cost to the taxpayer.
  • The Council has secured domestic and European funded grants to deliver projects that positively address issues around building climate resilience across urban landscape, reduce flood risk and provide support to our schools so they can reduce their carbon emissions.
  • Joining the successful £18.5 million project LoCase, which helps local businesses optimise their use of resources and adopt new eco-innovations and low carbon solutions to reduce their carbon emissions.
  • Southend-on-Sea was named as one of the UK’s ‘Greenest’ Cities for a third year running
  • 64,600 tonnes of waste has been diverted from landfills.
  • The Council has achieved a 66% reduction in carbon reduction commitment (CRC) emissions since 2012/13, equating to 13,118 tonnes of carbon over a five year period.

Cllr Ann Holland, Executive Councillor for Culture, Tourism and the Economy, said: “Local authorities are facing continued pressures to ensure we are doing our utmost to create a clean, healthy environment for our residents and visitors to enjoy our town.

“This report, which supports our Low Carbon Energy and Sustainability Strategy, shows the huge steps we are taking to not only reduce our carbon footprint, but to build a sustainable energy efficient urban landscape, whilst offering support and advice for those who need it.

“We pride ourselves on the fact that we are one of the few local authorities in England that publishes an annual report on the progress we are making.

“We are almost at the half-way mark of our plan, and we have already made great progress over the past three years. We are confident that we will achieve all our targets and ensure Southend-on-Sea is a low carbon, smart city by 2020.”

To view the report, please visit the Southend-on-sea Borough Council website.