Carbon Offset Fund Guidance


Adopted Core Strategy Policy CS20 states “Contributing to the Carbon Offset Fund From 2012 - once energy efficiency measures and renewable or low-carbon technology opportunities have been maximised, any remaining CO2 emissions can be offset through contributions to a carbon offset fund, which will be invested in off-site renewable energy and energy efficiency projects throughout the city. This will be in place for 2012 when the requirements for new development increase.”

An in-depth study was carried out in 2012 by United Sustainable Energy Agency (USEA) on behalf of Southampton City council which provides detail on how the local carbon offset fund could be set up and managed as part of the ambitions to reduce CO2 emissions in Southampton. It was concluded that s106 regulations would be the appropriate mechanism for collecting contributions from developers. The emerging CIL has been adjusted to reflect the expected contributions required to the Carbon Offset Fund.

Technical Requirements


Prior to 27 March 2015 the Carbon Offset Fund was applicable to all new developments requiring s106. From 27 March 2015 the Carbon Offset Fund will apply to all new developments of over 10 dwellings or 1000 metres squared in accordance with emerging national guidance.

On site requirements

Development has to meet minimum on site requirements in accordance with policy, including BREEAM Excellent for non-domestic.

Definition of zero carbon

The remaining emissions are offset through the Southampton carbon offset fund. The definition of zero carbon aligns with the national definition (i.e. regulated emissions only). However the Southampton Carbon Offset Fund offsets one year of emissions rather than the lifetime of the development.

Cost per tonne CO2

£210/ tCO2 emitted in first year of development. This is based on cost to offset a tonne of carbon locally and includes management costs. Management of the fund is will be undertaken by the Environment Centre who will evaluate projects applying for funding and track installations. There is a cap of £3 per metres squared floor space.

Examples of costs

  • Two bed detached house: 0.79 tonnes of CO2/year * £210 = £166 per home
  • Four bed detached house: 1.43 tonnes of CO2/year * £210 = £300 per home
  • Attached houses: 1.03 tonnes of CO2/year * £210 = £217 per home
  • Low rise apartment blocks: 1 tonne of CO2/year * £210 = £210 per home

View the Sustainability checklist.