South Tyneside Council's ambition to become carbon neutral by 2030 has taken another major step forward.
The Council has secured £8m from Government to fund 26 decarbonisation schemes across the borough. The funding will be used to undertake a range of energy improvement and de-carbonisation measures across various Council buildings including schools, leisure facilities and civic buildings.
A substantial amount of carbon will be saved each year due to more efficient sources of energy being used for the buildings. This will help to contribute to the Council's aim of being carbon neutral by 2030.
Cllr Tracey Dixon, Leader of South Tyneside Council said: "This is fantastic news and testament to the great work we are doing to meet our target of becoming carbon neutral by 2030. We are resolute in our ambitions to become carbon neutral and are using every opportunity available to us.
"It is only 12 months since we launched the Sustainable South Tyneside Strategy and we've already made great strides in reducing the Council's overall carbon footprint. We want to build on that progress to meet the ambitious targets we've set ourselves and the award of this funding will make a significant difference."
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) launched the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which is for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects within public sector non-domestic buildings. Work will commence immediately, and the majority of projects will be delivered by Summer 2021.
Detailed analysis of existing data in relation to carbon emissions has been scrutinised to help establish key areas of Council operations responsible for the largest emissions. Emissions from civic buildings, leisure facilities and street lighting account for 71 per cent of the Council's total emissions so this is an area that the Council has been prioritising. The £8m awarded will help tackle civic buildings and leisure facilities further.
The £8m covers 100% of the costs with no match funding needed from the council.
Key measures being implemented include:
- Energy efficient heat pumps to replace gas fired boilers
- Conversion of existing lighting to LED
- Roof mounted solar PV panels
- Building fabric improvements
A large amount of the funding will be used for enabling works as part of a future South Shields District Heating System (similar to that currently being developed in both Jarrow and Hebburn), for which plans are currently in the early stages of being developed.
South Tyneside Council's commitment toward climate change is strong and focused; implementing strategies that bring about real change, significantly reducing the amount of carbon being emitted whilst increasing its renewable capabilities moving to a cleaner, greener resource for energy supplies.