Funding approved for the first phase of building decarbonisation works

Funding has been approved to reduce the carbon emissions of 14 West Sussex County Council buildings, including libraries and fire stations.

The county council has confirmed an investment of £7.9m for the works to drive down the carbon footprint of the 14 council buildings, which include seven libraries, six fire stations, and one day centre.

Of the £7.9m funding, £5.5m of new capital funding has been allocated by the county council and £1.4m is expected from the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme delivered by Salix Finance. £1m of county council capital funding has already been used for design work and preparation.

The work will include replacing boilers over 10 years old with Air-Source Heat Pumps, improving insulation and the efficiency of heating systems, and installing solar panels.

Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change, Deborah Urquhart, said: “Tackling climate change is a core priority for the county council and a key part of this is our ambitious target to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2030.

“As our buildings account for around 75% of our carbon emissions, one of the most significant ways to help us achieve carbon neutrality is by reducing our reliance on fossil fuels such as gas in corporate buildings and making them more energy efficient.

“We estimate that the proposed works will save around 200 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year – around four per cent of our total corporate emissions.

“We are now actively seeking further funding for the next phase of our building decarbonisation programme.”

Director of Programmes at Salix Finance Ian Rodger said: “Salix is delighted to be able to work with West Sussex County Council and help drive its carbon emissions down and help meet its 2030 net zero targets.

“This is an ambitious project and our teams at Salix are looking forward to supporting the county council on its journey of decarbonisation.”