Energy efficiency measures have reduced Cheshire East Council’s carbon footprint by a massive 1,276 tonnes in a single year.
The cut is the equivalent amount of CO2 produced by a single car driving 3.8 million miles – or around the world 176 times!
The reduction in CO2 emissions has helped to limit the impact on the Council of the government’s climate change tax, the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC).
Under the CRC scheme, the cost of carbon emissions is inflated annually and this year has risen to £16.10 per tonne. This year’s submission has cost the Council £313,000, but lower emissions mean this is £20,543 less than it would have been.
Colin Farrelly, Cheshire East Council’s Energy Manager, said: “This is an impressive annual reduction in carbon emissions which has been achieved by being more efficient in the way we use gas and electricity.
“Carbon is the gas released into the atmosphere when we burn fossil fuels – and is one of the key causes of climate change. If you were to plant an area of forest big enough for its trees to absorb the 1,276 tonnes of carbon which we’ve saved this year, it would need to be the size of 205 football pitches!”
The annual carbon saving follows year-on-year decreases since the Council was set up in 2008.
In that year, the Council set a target to curb CO2 emissions by 25 per cent by 2016. In fact emissions were reduced by a whopping 42 per cent – saving the Council £5.7million from cheaper energy bills.
Councillor Peter Groves, Cheshire East Council Cabinet member for finance and assets said: “Our year-on-year investments in money-saving energy efficiency measures continue to bear fruit – both in terms of reducing our environmental impact and cutting our costs. This is a win-win for all and will mean we face less of an increase in CRC payments than if we hadn’t achieved the reduction.
“Cheshire East has performed strongly in this area since we were founded and we now have a proven track record on sustained carbon reduction we can be proud of. Every penny we save means more money for frontline services.
“The key to our success has been sustained investment in energy efficiency measures as part of our ongoing building refurbishment work. If we replace a building’s windows, new better-insulated alternatives are sourced; where we have to fit new boilers, we install more energy efficient models.”
Other energy efficiency measures the Council has put in place include advanced heating controls, insulation, voltage optimisation, high-frequency lighting complete with controls, variable-speed drives and swimming pool covers.