SSDC Energy and Decarbonisation Projects
Decarbonising our energy
Over the past decade SSDC has been installing renewable energy technologies on its buildings to help generate fossil fuel free energy for its energy use. Several SSDC offices have Photovoltaic Panels (PVs) installed – there are four arrays on the main council offices at Brympton Way, as well as arrays on the Cremetorium, Lufton Depot, Petters House and Wincanton Sports Centre.
In 2019, SSDC as part of the climate and ecological emergency, pledged to be carbon neutral by 2030 and calculated its carbon footprint, the outcome of which set a year on year 10% carbon reduction target.
In autumn 2020 SSDC applied for and was successful in obtaining a substantial Government grant through the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme to help with increasing the energy efficiency, installing renewable energy technologies and replacing gas for heating and hot water with air and ground source heat pumps on its highest energy consuming buildings. A second phase in 2022 will continue the decarbonisation improvements across SSDC estate. Once this project is completed it is predicted to save SSDC 698.09 tCO2e per annum (a 52% reduction of current emissions) helping us on our way to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.
Solar Photovoltaic Panels (PV)
To be carbon neutral by 2030 or sooner we will need to focus on getting our own house in order by making sure that our buildings are sustainable and energy efficient.
Over the past decade, SSDC has been installing renewable energy technologies on its buildings to help generate fossil fuel free electricity for its own energy use.
Several SSDC offices already have Photovoltaic Panels (PVs) installed – there are four arrays on the main council offices at Brympton Way (Yeovil), as well as arrays on the Cremetorium, Lufton Depot, Petters House and Wincanton Sports Centre. Further renewable energy solutions are being explored and implemented across the SSDC estate,
Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme
In 2020, we contracted energy and regeneration company Engie to conduct an energy audit on our highest energy consuming buildings and develop a net zero carbon roadmap for SSDC.
To implement the recommendations we applied to the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS) for grant funding to install energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies across our estate, including additional solar panels, air-source heat pumps, insulation, glazing and lighting.
Due to supply chain issues during the pandemic the project has been delayed and we are currently re-scoping the project. A portion of the funding will be re-directed to help de-carbonise our leisure centres across the district. This project is predicted to significantly reduce our current emissions helping us on our way to achieving carbon neutrality by 2030.
Yeovil Library has undergone a transformation to make the building greener and more energy efficient as part of Somerset County Council’s commitment to decarbonise its buildings.
The project has seen a new air source heat pump installed to heat the building in a more sustainable way, lamps changed to LEDs, new thermally efficient windows, improved ventilation with carbon dioxide monitors, and significant additional insulation.
Read more here
Renewable Energy Tariff
SSDC Supports the 2020 Government Local Electricity Bill and we will be purchasing our energy from local renewable energy generators.
In April 2021, SSDC also switched it's electricity tariff across the SSDC estate to a 100% Renewable Energy Guarantees Origin (REGO) backed renewable energy supply. This will help to further reduce our fossil fuel use and carbon emissions.
If you are thinking of making the switch to a green energy supplier we recommend checking out the green energy comparison site Big Clean Switch here.
Battery Storage Plant
We have developed and invested heavily in an innovative Battery Energy Storage Site (BESS) project near Taunton to help store renewable energy and reduce the wastage when too much is being produced. When there is more power being supplied from renewables than the National Grid requires, energy will be stored at our site and this electricity can then be fed back into the grid at a later time when demand has increased.
This has now been expanded to 30 megawatts (MW) to maximise the capability of the site, working in partnership with the following national and international businesses; BYD, Opium Power Ltd, Western Power Distribution, British Solar Renewables Ltd, Kiwi Power Ltd and National Grid.
Through our joint venture company SSDC Opium Power Ltd, another 40MW Battery Energy Storage site near Fareham in Hampshire is now being built, funded by SSDC, which will be one of the most advanced in the UK. The aim is for this second facility to be completed by the end of 2022.
Local Authority Delivery (LAD) Scheme
We are working hard to secure funding through grant opportunities to help support residents with vital retrofit work to existing housing stock.
LADs Phase 1
In partnership with the other district councils and the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) we led a successful bid to gain £803k of GHG LAD 1.b funding from BEIS. This retrofit project delivered insulation and conversion to electrified heating to 30 Park Homes across the county in 2021.
LADs Phase 2
The SW Energy Hub are leading further work to retrofit energy saving measures to properties across South Somerset and other South West Councils. Residents across South Somerset can benefit from free energy efficiency improvements worth up to £10,000 thanks to the Government funded programme, working with E.ON and Happy Energy Solutions.
To be eligible for the grants the residents of the property must have a low income (receive benefits or have the household income below £30,000 per annum) and the EPC for the property must be rated D, E, F or G. If you think you might be eligible for some help, you can find out more and submit an application at the following website.
Home Upgrade Grant Scheme (HUGS phase 1)
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy have opened up an application window for a third phase of funding to support low-income households not connected to mains gas through the Home Upgrade Grant (HUG1). The primary purpose of the funding is to raise the energy efficiency rating of low-income and low EPC rated homes off the gas grid and support a green recovery. The scheme will be open to applications in April 2022 - for more details see our Energy Saving Tips and Action page.
Energy Company Obligation (ECO) Funding
The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) - is a requirement placed on energy companies over a certain size to help improve domestic energy performance of the homes of those vulnerable to the cold or on low incomes. In the ECO3 phase there is a new additional facility called Flexible Eligibility. This is where the Councils can set criteria to direct assistance towards local private sector homes at risk of fuel poverty, but falling outside of the normal rules of ECO.
We have published a joint Statement of Intent for the updated ECO4 which can be found here.
The eligibility criteria has been designed to support fuel poor activity in Somerset and provide another route for us to help deliver energy improvements to our residents.
All potentially eligible households will need to apply through the Home Energy Team at the Centre for Sustainable Energy in order to be assessed. Telephone 0800 082 2234 or visit their website here.