Hounslow Council completes first phase of borough-wide building decarbonisation scheme

Hounslow Council has completed the first phase of a project to make schools and public buildings greener and more energy efficient. A total of 32 schools and 29 public buildings have been transformed.

Published: Wednesday, 6th July 2022

photo of the project team at The Heathland School.
Climate Change Lessons: Hounslow Council Cabinet representative Councillor Samia Chaudhary joins the decarbonisation project team at The Heathland School.

Low carbon-energy efficiency sources installed in Hounslow’s schools and public buildings will reduce carbon emissions by more than 3,000 tonnes each year and save millions of kilowatts hours (kWh) of gas and electricity.

The savings come following £19m of the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme grant funding in 2020 and the completion of the first phase in the borough, thus helping to make significant strides on LB Hounslow decarbonisation journey, enabling the move away from the reliance of gas/fossil fuel heating

The scheme has seen 32 primary schools and 29 public buildings fitted with low carbon technologies. As part of the project, four of the council leisure centres are now carbon neutral.

The PSDS funding is administered by Salix Finance on behalf of the Government’s Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The project has seen a range of energy-saving measures ‘retrofitted’ at the schools and public buildings. These include air source heat pumps to replace gas heating boilers, solar panels to self-generate renewable power, energy-saving LED lighting and thermal insulation. Using cleaner technologies to heat our buildings will help mitigate costly fossil fuels, especially at a time of high global prices. Making public buildings cheaper to run, heat and cool, whilst supporting economic growth and jobs across the borough

The measures installed in the borough schools will cut 1,264 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions and save more than six million kilowatts of electricity each year.

The measures in public buildings will cut 2,099 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and save more than 11.5m kilowatts of electricity each year.

And there is more to come, because, based on the success of the project, Hounslow Council has been awarded a further £2.4m by BEIS to introduce carbon-cutting measures at a further 10 of the borough’s schools. Work is already underway on this latest phase and is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

In 2019, Hounslow Council declared a Climate Emergency and has pledged to become a carbon-neutral local authority by 2030.

Hounslow Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Climate, Environment and Transport Strategy, Councillor Katherine Dunne, said: “We are delighted to have completed the first phase of the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme. Our borough is committed to rising to the challenges of climate change. This is a real milestone in our ambition to make every part of the Council’s operation carbon-free.

“The success of this scheme is a testament to the hard work and professionalism of the Council’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Energy team and a tribute to the great partnership working we have enjoyed with Asset Plus our delivery partner, Salix and BEIS.”

“This project will produce lasting benefits for our borough for generations to come. We are determined to build on this success and continue to move towards a carbon-free future.”

Commenting on the Hounslow scheme, Business and Energy Minister Lord Callanan said: 

“Funding from the government’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme is saving Hounslow taxpayers money each year by making their public buildings cheaper to run. 

“By boosting the energy efficiency of these buildings and installing low carbon systems, we are helping shield public sector organisations from a costly reliance on fossil fuels, especially at a time of high global prices.” 

Charles Pegg, Programme Manager, Salix Finance, said: “Salix is proud to continue its work with London Borough of Hounslow with the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, having previously worked with them through our former loan schemes.

“They have used their awarded grant funding to holistically develop numerous schools and their estates, providing popular technologies such as LED Lighting and Solar PV, as well as installing over 50 heat pumps. This has drastically reduced these sites' fossil fuel dependency with the heating conversions saving around 2,500 tCO2 per annum alone.

“We look forward to continuing to work with Hounslow in the future as they plan to make similar improvements across their remaining sites.”

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