£18.9m decarbonisation scheme unveiled to help tackle climate change in Hounslow

Hounslow Council is about to begin a major infrastructure programme to help tackle climate change by removing gas boilers from dozens of schools, leisure centres, libraries, and community centres.

Published: Friday, 19th March 2021

Solar panels

The work has been made possible after Council bids for grants secured £7.65 million for schools in Hounslow and £11.3 million for public buildings from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme.

Gas boilers will be replaced with low carbon alternatives that will help Hounslow tackle climate change and reach the borough’s target to be carbon neutral by 2030.

The way buildings are heated has to change because heating currently makes a significant contribution to climate change. According to the Climate Change Committee, 19% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions come from warming-up the places we live and work.

Gas boilers will be replaced with the latest generation of ‘heat pumps’ which are a highly efficient way of bringing heat into buildings. The technology is similar to household fridges, where warm air is moved from inside a fridge to a radiator on the outside. Heats pumps operate in reverse, extracting warm air from outside buildings and bringing it inside.

Heat pumps require considerably less electricity than electric heaters, and to reduce carbon emissions even further the Council’s contractors will fit solar panels alongside the heat pump installations to generate the electricity they consume.

New LED lighting will also make energy reductions, and more work is planned for later stages of the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme.

Saving money and delivering better services

The scheme will not only reduce carbon emissions it will also bring substantial financial savings for many buildings.

One local school is expected to cut its energy bills in half and the money saved will be reinvested to provide better education opportunities for pupils.

The savings across dozens of public buildings will be substantial, allowing ratepayers’ money to go further and provide better services for residents and businesses.

The ambitious programme of works will be completed by March 2022.

Councillor Katherine Dunne, Hounslow Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Climate Emergency, said:

“This is a step in the right direction to help tackle climate change and deliver significant cost savings for the Council and for local schools too. We have committed to creating a carbon neutral borough by 2030, and this ambitious decarbonisation scheme will help us to deliver on our promise. This is the state-of-the-art technology that we need to see adopted across industry and in our homes, and I’m proud that Hounslow Council is leading the way on the green recovery to build back better after the pandemic.”

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