There is a rising demand for energy across the planet, potentially creating many problems for this and future generations, such as;
- Increasing greenhouse gas emissions from the use of fossil fuels, raising global temperatures and increasing the rate of climate change
- The process of using up natural fuel reserves, thus generating carbon emissions, will put pressure on biodiversity affecting our long term sustainability. At a more local level, this can directly affect our residents, by;
- Increasing upward pressure on fuel prices and the potential for fuel poverty
- Adding to air pollution and exacerbating breathing and other health problems
- Increasing issues with fuel supply and security
The changing weather patterns, flooding and drought that we have been experiencing over recent years is having a far reaching effect on the UK's people, places, economy, society and environment.
What can be done?
Energy efficiency measures and the use of renewable energy can help address these problems, by emitting less CO2 into the atmosphere. In the Council’s case this has the added benefit of saving the Council money, through reduced electricity and gas bills.
The Council is committed to reducing energy use in its buildings, thereby reducing CO2 emissions generated and saving money in the process. The Council has achieved a 23% cut in energy use in its buildings between 2012/13 and 2015/16 (see graph).
How is the Council addressing Energy Efficiency?
The Council’s Energy Efficiency strategy is to address both the physical makeup of our property (such as updating heating systems, lighting and insulation) and good housekeeping based on our day-to-day operations.
As part of this, we have implemented a number of projects and initiatives, a selection of which are shown below;
- Solar Thermal panels on the roof of the Council Offices producing hot water which is used in the building
- Solar Photovoltaic panels on the roof of the Council 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, directly displacing fossil fuel heating systems with renewable energy, and generating income from the ‘Renewable Heat Incentive’
- Daily monitoring of the previous days energy graphs at key sites to identify any potential issues and opportunities
- Careful ‘fine tuning’ of Building Management Systems to ensure heating and hot water is only on when absolutely needed
- Printers used by staff are now defaulted to double-sided printing and energy saving modes. Access to colour printing has been restricted and staff have to swipe their ID cards to generate hard copy, reducing wasted print runs
- Upgrade 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 main Ashfield District Councils Offices
Water is a commodity that is often overlooked when organisations are considering energy use but there are also cost and carbon savings to be realised by using water more efficiently too. Visit our water saving page to find out what Ashfield District Council is doing to save water and what you can do at home.
Be An Energy Shopper
Ofgem, the government energy regulator, has launched a new web site to help people understand bills and annual statements, read meters, how to be more energy efficient, and how to compare energy tariffs to calculate how much could be saved by switching suppliers.