Climate change and energy
Tackling climate change is one of the biggest challenges faced by this generation. The first step is to make sure our community understands the challenge of climate change and what they can do about it.
The earth's climate has changed a number of times over many hundreds of thousands of years. Due to the fossil fuels that we have burnt over the past 200 years, there has been a build-up of 'greenhouse gases', such as carbon dioxide, in the atmosphere.
This build-up is trapping heat in the atmosphere which means weather patterns are changing. We are seeing higher average temperatures and more extreme weather events such as flash floods.
What are we doing to tackle climate change?
We recognise the importance of tackling climate change and we are:
- reducing greenhouse gas emissions to minimise future global climate change (mitigation) and
- planning for the unavoidable local impacts of climate change (adaptation).
To meet these challenges we have developed a Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan.
The strategy sets out our plan for minimising the effects on climate change caused by delivering its services, whilst also planning for the unavoidable local impacts that Ashfield, its people and communities, will have to face in the future.
We are also working with other local authorities in the county through the Nottinghamshire Climate Change Partnership which is a forum to share ideas on mitigating and adapting to climate change.
Energy and energy saving
As demand for energy rises there is a risk of more greenhouse gas building up from the use of fossil fuels. There is also a risk of using up natural resources and having a negative effect on biodiversity.
This can have an everyday impact on people as well as an effect on the population and the way we live globally. You might feel the impact through:
- increasing fuel prices and the potential for fuel poverty
- higher air pollution meaning breathing and other health problems
- increasing issues with fuel supplies.
What are we doing to be energy efficient?
We are committed to being energy efficient in the way we work, the way we deliver services, and in how we manage our estate.
This means we're making improvements to our buildings and services as well as practising good upkeep. Renewable energy sources will help us be energy efficient as well as reduce climate change. We have installed:
- solar thermal panels on the roof of our offices producing hot water which is used in the building
- solar photovoltaic panels on the roof of our offices, Byron Business Centre, Acacia Avenue Community Centre and six Ashfield Homes Courts to reduce the amount of purchased electricity and generate income from the Feed in Tariff
- wood pellet boilers at Sherwood and Titchfield Courts, replacing fossil fuel heating systems with renewable energy, and generating income from the Renewable Heat Incentive.
We are also carrying out:
- daily monitoring of the previous days energy graphs at key sites to identify any potential issues and opportunities
- careful fine tuning of building systems to ensure heating and hot water is only on when absolutely needed
- restriction to colour printing for staff and ensuring ID is swiped to start printing to reduce wated hard copies. Printers used by staff are now defaulted to double-sided printing and energy saving modes
- upgrades to energy efficient LED office lighting and lighting controls which dim the lights when natural light allows
- replacement of old boilers with energy efficient condensing gas boilers at our main offices.
We have also signed up to the Aquafund grant scheme to help us make water efficiencies and reduce our costs and carbon use.
How to get more information
If you need more information on what we're doing to tackle climate change or become more energy efficient get in touch by:
- telephone: 01623 457370