Wales Climate Week: Successes in Climate Action

Submitted by Salix on Tue, 03/11/2020 - 16:54

Between the 2nd – 9th November, the Welsh Government will be hosting a series of digital interactive events covering what organisations and individuals can do to address Wales’ climate emergency.

Salix is proud of the Welsh public sectors commitment to climate action, with over half of all local authorities in Wales having declared a climate emergency to date1. In the face of the Covid pandemic it has become increasingly important to ensure a green Covid recovery, to stimulate jobs and provide long-term sustainable solutions. In partnership with the Welsh Government, Salix continues to support the Welsh public sector with funding to achieve this.  

During Wales Climate Week, Salix reflects on the successes of public sector organisations in Wales who have been working towards decarbonisation over the past year.

Over the last financial year, over £12million of energy efficiency projects were completed as part of the Wales Funding Programme, achieving substantial savings of around 8,148 tonnes of carbon and £1,102,238 annually. 

Salix had a look at some of last years successful projects in more detail.

Denbighshire County Council 

Last year Denbighshire County Council declared a climate and ecological emergency, committing to making the local authority net-zero by 2030. As part of their decarbonisation plans, the council have used £810,796 from Salix towards their street lighting programme, upgrading their lighting to energy-efficient LED.

The latest phase of the project, which took place over the past year, is estimated to make financial savings of £39,775 carbon savings of 84.91 tonnes per annum.

Craig Wilson, Street Lighting Engineer at the Council, said: “Denbighshire County Council has committed to make the authority net-carbon zero by 2030 and our project collaboration with Salix Finance is vital to us achieving that goal.” 

Community Councils 

Last year saw several community councils such as  Rossett, Pen-Y-Cae, Gresford and Broughton Community Council complete successful projects, with a total of over £190,000 invested in energy efficiency projects through the Wales Funding Programme. These projects are estimated to save 73 tonnes of carbon per annum.

Keith Lea, Council Clerk at Broughton Community Council, said: “Broughton Community Council has invested more than £80,000 to convert its stock of 520 streetlights to LED. It is anticipated that this will result in long-term reductions in energy usage, energy costs and lower maintenance bills. In addition, these improvements will lead to improved lighting for residents across the community, resulting in a reduction to crime and anti-social behaviour and increasing people’s feeling of well-being and safety.” 

Wendy Pace, Council Clerk at Rossett Community Council, said: “Rossett Community Council chose to undertake this project to achieve efficiencies in energy usage as well as improved environmental benefits. The project has exceeded our original expectations and we hope these benefits will be reaped for many years.” 

Wrexham Leisure

As part of improvement works to five of their leisure and sport centres, Wrexham County Borough Council, in partnership with Freedom Leisure, used £115,680 to upgrade the lighting of their sports areas to energy efficient LEDs. 

The project allowed the council to deliver on decarbonisation, with the project estimated to save the council £17,662 and reduce carbon emission savings by 36.92 tonnes a year. Not only is the council benefitting from the environmental and financial benefits, the new lighting provides a huge difference in the quality of light for users of the facilities. 

Freedom Leisure Centre Manager, David Watkin, said: “The investment at Ruabon has seen lighting levels in the hall improve dramatically. The lighting has an option to adjust to 1200lux which  replicates daylight conditions; this is above the recommended lighting levels for regional cricket development and will ensure Ruabon remains a regional Hub for all cricket coaching within North Wales.”

Emma Williams, Energy Efficiency Officer for Wrexham Council, said: “It’s great news that the new LED lights have now been installed at Ysgol Rhiwabon; the school and users of the facility have already noticed a great improvement. We hope the substantial investment to improve the dual-use sport centres will continue to improve the energy efficiency of our buildings and support our work in delivering decarbonisation.”

Stefan Runge, Development Manager for Welsh Government Energy Service, said: “We’re delighted to be able to support this work undertaken by Wrexham County Borough Council. The Welsh Government Energy Service is committed to supporting public bodies and community groups to develop and deliver these types of projects.”

For more information on how to apply for the Wales Funding Programme click here or email [email protected] 

About the Welsh Government Energy Service

The Welsh Government Energy Service provides free technical, commercial and procurement support to develop energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. The Energy Service also helps with financial planning and funding, for example interest-free loans and grants.