CAMBRIDGE City Council is saving energy and reducing carbon emissions as part of its approach to tackling the climate crisis and is encouraging residents to take action to reduce their own energy consumption during Big Energy Saving Week.
The council’s Climate Change Strategy 2021-2026, sets out how it will address the causes and consequences of climate change. Integral to this is saving energy and reducing carbon emissions across the council and the city.
The council has set a target to reduce its direct carbon emissions to net zero by 2030 and has invested in a range of carbon reduction projects over a number of years, including installing LED lighting and solar PV panels at 10 of its main buildings to save energy and reduce carbon emissions.
It has secured £1.7m Government funding to install heat pumps and additional solar PV at Parkside and Abbey Pools, two of the council’s biggest energy consumers, which will reduce carbon emissions by more than 440 tonnes per year.
To save energy in its housing stock, the council has retrofitted 150 council homes by installing external insulation and solar panels and will retrofit a further 50 homes to net zero carbon. 1000 new homes are targeted to be built to Passivhaus eco-standard (a leading international energy performance standard which significantly reduces energy use from buildings) or Passivhaus equivalent and will be targeting net zero carbon standards for all council homes built from 2030 onwards.
To support residents to take action on climate change and reduce their energy consumption, the council has made a number of schemes available. These include schemes to support residents to make their homes more energy efficient, offering discounted rates on solar panels, supporting residents with an advice service to save energy in their home and supporting those experiencing hardship with their energy bills.
The council is working in partnership with other Cambridgeshire local authorities to support low-income households to improve the energy efficiency of their property, using funding from a government grant scheme. This can be accessed by residents and private landlords (subject to meeting the fund criteria), with energy inefficient properties. Up to £10,000 worth of improvements will be delivered to insulate and retrofit people’s property. Please contact email@example.com for more information.
Residents in Cambridge can also access support to save energy, reduce their carbon footprint and cut household bills through Cambridgeshire Warm Home Energy Support Service, operated by Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT). The service offers help and advice on changes people can make to cut costs and carbon and to stay warm. It can also assist eligible people to access the national Warm Homes Discount and other funding opportunities. To access this service, residents can call 0800 8021773 or visit https://www.pect.org.uk/projects/warmhomes/.
Through the Solar Together scheme, the council supports residents looking to switch to renewable energy. This is a Cambridgeshire-wide scheme managed by Cambridgeshire County Council which enables residents to purchase solar panels and battery storage at significant discounts.
Switching to renewable energy such as solar will help residents to reduce their carbon footprint and fuel bills and play their part in working to make Cambridge a net zero city by 2030, which is the city council’s vision.
The next round of Solar Together is due to go live in February. Residents can register on the Solar Together website to find out more or sign up at https://solartogether.co.uk/cambridgeshire/home
For those who may be experiencing financial hardship, support is currently available through the Cambridgeshire Household Support Fund, to help pay for household energy, food and other household essentials. For more information and to apply for support, visit https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/coronavirus/household-support-fund.
Residents and organisations can also sign up to the Cambridge Climate Change Charter developed by the council with Cambridge Carbon Footprint, where anyone can measure their carbon emissions and find advice and ideas on how to reduce them.
Cllr Rosy Moore, Executive Councillor for Climate Change, Environment and City Centre, said: “Saving energy and reducing carbon emissions is essential for tackling the climate emergency and we all need to play our part. There’s plenty of support and advice out there to start to reduce your energy consumption and bills. I would encourage anyone to use the resources and support available to make some changes during Big Energy Saving Week and beyond, so you can reduce your carbon footprint and probably save some money too!”