Southampton City Council’s Clean Growth Fund projects confirmed

As part of Southampton City Council Clean Growth Fund, work to reduce carbon emissions at three of the council’s buildings are set to commence

The council’s Clean Growth Fund is an integral part of the council’s Green City Plan and its commitment to tackle climate change by becoming a carbon neutral council by 2030. Work will deliver energy efficiency and renewable projects in non-domestic buildings.

With support from Salix Finance Ltd, £20million has been committed to the fund over the next 5 years. The Fund will be matched 50/50 by the council and Salix Finance limited. Offices, schools and other public buildings are being assessed to determine their specific requirements and will be planned as part of the ongoing phases of the fund.

The approach has been split into phases to enable work to be planned and prioritised to ensure that the approach taken will see maximum reductions in carbon. In its first phase the Clean Growth Fund is investing £1.2million in solar panels and lighting and heating efficiency measures at One Guildhall Square, the City Depot and the Marlands multi storey car park. The projects identified within phase 1 will reduce CO2 emissions by 200 tonnes and bills by £115,000 per year over the lifetime of the measures. Most of these financial savings and future savings will be reinvested back into the fund ensuring the fund has the capacity to deliver the CO2 emissions reductions needed across the entire stock.

Councillor Steve Leggett, Cabinet Member for Green City and Place, said: “This is the councils biggest ever investment in carbon saving technology. These will help us reach our ambitious goal of being carbon neutral by 2030. We have switched our commercial buildings to 100% renewable energy and in phase one we will focus our attention on property within our portfolio so we can deliver the largest reductions.

We are committed to reducing carbon emissions, we have already reported CO2 levels are over 60% lower than 2010, and we expect these levels to keep falling with the various actions detailed in our Green City Plan. In the last 12 months, we have added 30 new electric vehicles to our fleet allowing us to remove older, more polluting versions. We can all make simple changes to help reduce our carbon footprint, simply switching to a green energy supplier is one of the most effective ways of reducing our impact on the environment.”