From mid-November, council projects around energy generation and supply, renewable energy, street lighting, electric fleet vehicles, home energy projects, carbon reduction and climate change projects will all come under a new umbrella, “RenewNEL”.
Reducing the amount of energy the council uses is a key priority for the council. Just like any family, the council wants to reduce its fuel bills and also its impact on the environment – whether that’s through the use of clean technology, the development of community energy projects, or changing the way its staff work to reduce travel and carbon output.
The demand for energy is directly linked to prosperity and desire to improve the well-being of ourselves and our communities. But energy is expensive, in some cases, it pollutes the environment and traditional sources of energy (fossil fuels) have an uncertain future.
Cllr Dave Watson, portfolio holder for energy and the environment, said: “Our communities use energy each day to make their lives richer, more productive, safer and healthier. We consume energy to keep warm, prepare food, travel and work but energy supply is becoming less reliable and less certain at the same time as we’re expecting population growth in this area to drive demand higher.
“As a council, we need to manage our resources effectively and efficiently. By becoming more resilient and less reliable on traditional sources of energy, by using energy more efficiently, by sourcing cheaper alternatives, we will be better placed to deliver a stronger economy and stronger, more sustainable communities.”
The council has already set out its vision for a low carbon North East Lincolnshire and has signed up to Climate Local. By 2032, the council is aiming to be nationally and internationally recognised as the UK’s leading region for low-carbon energy and the UK capital of the renewable energy industry. And by 2050, North East Lincolnshire is aiming to become a carbon neutral borough.
Shortly, the council will be receiving its first electric vehicles as part of the operational fleet vehicles. These will be out on North East Lincolnshire’s roads by Christmas.
With its delivery partner, ENGIE, the council has already delivered two key energy saving projects: More than 19,000 street lights have been upgraded to LED lights, and solar panels have been fitted to six sites across the borough.