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  4. Climate action and what we are doing

Climate action and what we are doing

These are some of the initiatives we have been working on since declaring a climate emergency in 2018. 

Electric vehicle charging points

We have £5000 worth of advisory services and support from the South West (SW) Energy Hub.  This will start the assessment of feasibility for electric vehicle charging infrastructure in the Council owned car parks throughout the district. We will then develop a strategy for installing Electric Vehicle Charging Points, which will support the increased uptake of electric vehicles by those living and travelling to the district. Electric vehicles are one part of a transition to a carbon neutral district.

A site survey for the installation of an electric vehicle charging point (EVCP) in the Council office staff car park was undertaken. Installing an EVCP will enable the Street Wardens to trial an electric van. It will support the move to electric vehicles for the Council’s operations. Any learning from this trial will be utilised to investigate the feasibility of installing EVCPs at other sites.

Cycling survey

We received 249 responses to our survey on walking and cycling in the district. The press release has more details of the results and who took part. We will use the results to aid targeted feasibility studies for new cycle and walkways in the district, the development of the new Local Plan and inform Government funding applications.

Hybrid vehicles

We held a trial of a self-charging hybrid vehicle in December 2019. Since then we have changed one of our pool cars to a hybrid. 

The move to a hybrid pool car:

  • lowers our carbon emissions
  • works towards the 2030 carbon neutral commitment
  • makes lease cost savings and helps to combat local air pollution

Our leased pool cars contribute 8,226 kg CO2 towards the our annual carbon emissions. Switching to a hybrid will save 8.6% (711 kg CO2) in carbon emissions and £329 per year in lease costs.

Plastic packaging

We worked with the Mayor of Coleford and Coleford Town Council to prepare a template that can be used by businesses, schools and the local community to reduce their use of single use plastics. We hope that other towns will also be able to use this template. 

We have asked local supermarkets in Coleford, Cinderford, Newent and Lydney what they can do to reduce unnecessary plastic packaging in their stores.

Gas saving heating additive

We have done a trial on our gas central heating system to improve its energy efficiency and lower carbon emissions. We piloted EndoTherm, a gas saving central heating additive for two months from 3 March 2020. A period of this pilot fell during the COVID-19 quarantine.

The additive works by improving the heat transfer rate and efficiency of a heating system which means rooms reach temperature quicker and stay warmer for longer. So less gas is consumed to maintain the set temperature.

Over the two month pilot period the addition of EndoTherm to our office central heating system showed 17.8% reduction in gas consumption. This is a saving of 11,838 kWh and a carbon reduction of 2,190kg CO2e. Gas savings made during the trial equate to a financial saving of £355.14 and reflect a payback period of less than nine months. EndoTherm stays active within a heating system for a minimum of five years and we expect to see approximately 94,900kg CO2e saving over that time. The equivalent weight of about 15 male African elephants.

Energy supply and consumption

We have been reducing the energy consumption of our offices, resulting in a significant decrease in carbon emissions. In 2018 to 2019 electricity from our buildings totalled 384,203 KWH. This is a 45% reduction from 2013 to 2014, equating to 89,001 kg CO2e, which is 8% of total council emissions.

In June 2019 we asked West Mercia Energy for a green energy supply. From August 2019 our electricity is on a green tariff.  We are investigating installing solar panels on our office buildings.