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Council to switch to green energy

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Dudley Council’s vision for a greener future looks set to take another step forward with plans to switch to 100 per cent green renewable electricity this autumn.

From October 1, the council will transfer to a green energy supply, using electricity from renewable resources across its buildings, as well as streetlighting across the borough.

The move, which will include buildings such as the Council House, Town Hall and leisure centres, is set to reduce carbon emissions by an estimated 7,000 tonnes.

In July last year the council declared a climate emergency, recognising the authority needs to take urgent action to reduce its carbon emissions. Switching to green energy is the latest positive action it is taking towards this.

Councillor Shaun Keasey, cabinet member for digital, customer and commercial services, said:

We recognise the importance of reducing our carbon emissions and remain committed to becoming a cleaner, greener authority.
Being proactive and taking this step to move to green renewable energy, along with looking for ways to reduce energy consumption will help us on the path to be carbon neutral.
We all have a responsibility to take action where we can to safeguard our environment for future generations and I would encourage residents and businesses to look at what they can do too.
Many of us making small changes in how we live and what we use, such as switching to green energy, really can make a big difference.”

The switch to green energy follows a recent announcement from the council about improvements to be made to a number of council-owned buildings with £4.4million awarded from the government’s public sector decarbonisation scheme.

 Under the scheme the aim is to switch a number of sites, including Dudley Council House and Town Hall and Himley Hall and Ward House which are reliant upon carbon-intensive forms of heating such as oil and gas, to electrical forms of heating.

The grant includes funding to install air source heat pumps at all sites. Solar photovoltaic (PV) and battery storage will also be installed where possible, and lighting will be upgraded to LED.

At Crystal Leisure Centre, carbon-intensive gas heating has been replaced with a state-of-the-art heat pump system, which uses the earth’s natural heat from deep underground to warm the centre.

While a programme to convert nearly 7,000 street lights on main roads in the borough to energy efficient LED is to be completed in the next few months.

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