Council’s energy projects
As a council we need to manage our own 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.
As a council, we’ve signed up to Climate Local, set out our vision for a low carbon North East Lincolnshire, and we’re working with stakeholders and partners to make that vision a reality.
As part of a pilot project to reduce the council’s energy bills and carbon emissions, Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels have been fitted to the roof at Cleethorpes Leisure Centre.
The project is being led by energy experts and council partner ENGIE, with six sites included across the borough.
The Photovoltaic panels work by capturing free energy from the sun which is then converted into electricity, which can be harnessed within the council buildings.
Over a 20 year period this sustainable system is expected to reduce the amount of carbon produced by the council by around 3,600 tonnes.
ENGIE will provide just under 500kWp of electricity generation through PV panels which cover an area of approximately 3,000m2. This means the council will be able to utilise around 400,000kWh of renewable power each year.
The site at Cleethorpes Leisure Centre is expected to see its energy bills fall by 28 per cent in the first year, based on current energy prices.
A programme of works to upgrade the borough’s street lamps with more cost effective LED lights has been completed.
North East Lincolnshire Council and its partner ENGIE started to replace the area’s traditional street lights with new state-of-the-art LED lights almost three years ago.
Now, over 19,000 street lights have been upgraded as part of the £7.8-million project.
The phasing out of the old orange sodium lamps, and moving to white-light LEDs has resulted in a clearer and cleaner light that improves visibility, while also making substantial savings in energy and carbon emissions.
The new LED lights also need less energy to run and will save about £350,000 per year in energy and maintenance costs, as well as reducing carbon emissions by 35 per cent.
The council is gaining greater control of its energy unit cost. It has established its own electricity procurement framework which other authorities will be able to join. This has already seen savings achieved.
Gas: we are a in the middle of procuring a new gas utility framework.
Water: in 2017, the water industry will become de-regulated, meaning that we can buy our water supply from different companies, just as we can with gas and electricity. We will be investigating this new sector to identify opportunities as they arise.
The Council has been successful in attracting government funding (HNDU) to deliver this project. Should a heat network prove feasible we will have access to capital funding (HNIP) to contribute to its commercialisation, construction & implementation.
What is a “Heat Network”?
In the UK, we commonly think about heat (or cooling) as something generated on-site in individual buildings; the most common sources of space heating being gas boilers, electric heaters, and oil boilers. However, in many parts of the world it is common to have networks (district heating) to transport heat to consumers through insulated pipes, so that the source of the heat is not within the building and is on a larger scale. These do exist in the UK (typical examples can be found on university campuses, in new inner city mixed commercial and residential developments, and in high-rise flats).The Government believes there is great potential to develop networks so that they can play a part in the move to low carbon heating & reducing costs to the consumer. (more information at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/heat-networks-delivery-support#the-benefit-of-heat-networks )
Why in North East Lincolnshire?
In June 2016 the Council published its vision for a low carbon economy. (https://www.nelincs.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Energy-Vision-Document-160707.pdf). Energy is a commissioning priority for the Council and is seen as a key enabler to deliver against its priorities of Stronger Economy Stronger Communities. Energy growth has been directly linked to prosperity and well-being. People’s determination to sustain and improve their quality of life is a major driver of energy demand. Rising & uncertain energy costs can impact on business competitiveness and the incidents of fuel poverty. North East Lincolnshire has higher than average levels of fuel poverty. For some residents there are stark choices in how to prioritise competing demands on the household income – whether to heat the home, pay rent or mortgage or have something to eat. Cold homes create or exacerbate health conditions leading to poor health and well-being. Excess winter deaths are a contributor to health inequalities especially for children and older people.
Additionally, energy supply is becoming less reliable and less secure. The Department of Energy and Climate Change has indicated that the supply infrastructure for electricity is coming under pressure in the UK. The establishment of Heat Networks is seen as a possible solution as part of a wider mix of measures.
You will see from our vision that we are also seeking to become a renowned centre of excellence so that North East Lincolnshire is at the forefront of the renewables industry in the UK raising its profile, enhancing its reputation and attracting business and investment. We also aim to build a highly-skilled economy based on advanced energy technologies, creating long-term jobs and offering stable employment for local people. This project will play a key part in achieving this.
What does the project involve and how long is the project?
There are key stages that the Government have set out for these type of projects. It will take around 12 months to reach the stages where a business case can be considered and commercial aspects (scheme design) can commence. It may take two or three years to commission and begin operating a network. In the first instance the Council will be appointing a consultant in January 17 to begin the work on the first two stages. Initially the activity will focus on “Heat Mapping” & “Energy Master Planning” stages in order to identify the areas of North East Lincolnshire which offer greatest potential. It is important that, as far as possible, the outcomes & recommendations from this work are based on actual data rather than estimated or assumed data.