North Yorkshire County Council is the latest authority to benefit from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country.
More than £150m is being handed to schools, hospitals and council buildings around Yorkshire and the Humber from the first phase of the scheme for technology such as solar panels, LED lighting and low-carbon heating systems as part of efforts to meet the country’s ‘net zero’ ambitions.
The Tory-run authority says the £2m will fund improvements to buildings, particularly the replacement of windows, which will improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.
Making properties more energy-efficient is a key strand of the council’s carbon reduction plan and its ambition to become carbon zero by 2030.
More than 20 schools around the county will benefit, plus council-run care homes in Pickering and Starbeck and Malton library.
The funding will also support a study of options for environmental and energy efficiency initiatives at the authority’s office buildings, such as electric vehicle charge points, generation of renewable energy on buildings and other carbon-saving measures and building improvements.
County Council leader Carl Les, who recently helped launch the Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission, said: “Climate change is a real threat to our region and collectively we need to take action to mitigate and reduce the effects. Opportunities such as the public sector decarbonisation fund are very welcome to help us to improve our buildings and infrastructure.
“We want to send a clear message that we are committed to improving our own buildings and reducing carbon from our activities. All the energy efficiency projects will take place this year, as the Government is keen for the decarbonisation funding to support green growth and recovery.”
One of the biggest beneficiaries of the central funding is Leeds City Council, which secured £25.3m to decarbonise 38 publicly owned buildings, slashing the city’s emissions by 4,000 tonnes
Civic buildings, leisure centres, primary schools, children’s centres, homes for older people and offices across the city will all benefit from a range of low carbon heat and energy upgrades.
Air source heat pumps, new connections to the district heating network, solar photovoltaic panels, LED lighting, and double glazing will all be installed by the end of the year.