County secures almost £2m to cut carbon in schools and offices

This story was published 6 May 2021

Schools, care homes and other council buildings will benefit from improved energy efficiency following a successful bid for almost £2m by North Yorkshire County Council.

Car charging

The bid for Government public sector decarbonisation funding by the County Council’s property service will fund improvements to buildings, particularly the replacement of windows, which will improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. This supports the County Council’s ambition to become carbon zero by 2030. Making properties more energy-efficient is a key strand of the council’s carbon reduction plan.

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. This will look into opportunities for green initiatives such as electric vehicle charge points, generation of renewable energy on buildings and other carbon-saving measures and building improvements.

County Council Leader Cllr Carl Les, who recently helped to 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.

Cllr Les added: “This expenditure is just part of the investment we expect to make up to 2030 to improve the energy efficiency of our properties and decarbonise our heating systems.”

The funding is in addition to the work of the County Council’s energy team with schools across the county to buy energy cost-effectively, save energy through efficiency measures and monitor energy usage. The team also educates the next generation through interactive pupil events, currently being delivered online, and the work of Power Down Pete, the team’s superhero, who teaches pupils about climate change and ways to cut carbon and save energy through simple actions.