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Council makes £5.7m energy efficiency savings

Cheshire East Council has reduced its carbon emissions by 42 per cent since 2008 through a range of energy efficiency measures, generating significant savings to support frontline services.

Cheshire East Council has reduced its carbon emissions by 42 per cent since 2008 through a range of energy efficiency measures, generating significant savings to support frontline services.

Cheshire East started a carbon management programme in 2008 with a view to reducing its carbon emissions by 25 per cent by 2016. 

In 2011, the council collaborated with the Carbon Trust to produce a Carbon Management Plan to identify and implement actions to save energy and reduce emissions.

The plan has been a huge success, with the 25 per cent target exceeded comfortably and cost savings of nearly £6 million achieved in the process.

Energy measures

The council has reduced its office accommodation from 44 sites to six and invested in a range of energy efficient measures in its buildings, including more efficient boilers, advanced heating controls, insulation, voltage optimisation, high-frequency lighting and controls, variable speed drives, swimming pool covers and many other minor improvements.

All the measures had a return on investment of less than three years and led to significant reductions in energy consumption and carbon footprints in council buildings.

For example, the council’s Congleton Leisure Centre has nearly halved its annual carbon footprint from 800 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) to 470.

Seven controlled zones have been created in the old town hall in Macclesfield as part of a new heating control system which adjusts temperatures according to weather conditions. The measure has reduced the running costs of the building by seven per cent. 

A new heating system at Delamere House in Crewe has reduced the building’s gas consumption by 49 per cent.

Meanwhile, energy efficient measures at the council’s headquarters in Sandbach have led to a 32 per cent saving on electricity consumption.

Savings for services

Cllr Peter Groves, cabinet member for finance and assets at Cheshire East Council, said: “In the last eight years, we have improved energy efficiency in all of our buildings. Historically there were instances where we could have used energy more appropriately and, thanks in large part to this review, we are continuing to put plans in place to do so.

“By reducing the running costs of the Council’s buildings, the financial savings can be used to support frontline services.”