Craven District Council: Low carbon retrofit
Craven District Council unanimously declared a Climate Emergency in August 2019 and since then has taken big steps to reduce its energy demand and generate its own energy. It is committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030.
The council formed a partnership scheme to make 30 homes and flats more thermally efficient, saving money for social housing residents on their bills. Improvement works – known as retrofit – aim to help improve these homes’ energy efficiency, making them easier to heat and keep warm, while fossil fuel use will be replaced by renewable, clean energy. The council also pledged to retrofit all its buildings by installing solar panels. Meanwhile, a few of the council buildings benefitted from roof insulation and heat pumps.
The Zero Carbon Craven project was boosted by the appointment of an environmental charity, Hubbub, which encouraged residents in the rural district to reduce their energy consumption at home and save money during winter via webinars, leaflets and website information.
In addition, the council worked collaboratively with social landlord Yorkshire Housing to retrofit 30 houses and flats.
Generating energy from renewables such as the sun or wind doesn’t produce any emissions. It’s also improved properties by at least one EPC (energy performance certificate) band which will help reduce the impact of rising energy prices while cutting carbon emissions by 30 tonnes.
In addition, the 30 properties benefitted from solar panels and air source heat pumps. This deep retrofit would help lower people’s energy bills and provide warm and secure housing, which in turn would help improve living conditions.
The aim of the programme is to save 266 tonnes of carbon, which is equivalent to saving over 12,000 trees.
Almost 800 solar panels have been fitted in total to most of council buildings and it is estimated Craven and its successor council will save nearly £130,000 a year in energy costs for the next 10-25 years (based on latest energy prices).