July 13, 2024

Denbighshire County Council’s Property Section Energy Team has completed over 90 working measures into 47 council owned buildings in a drive to reduce building emissions.

During Net Zero Week 2023 which focuses on initiatives to reduce carbon emissions, the Council’s Energy Team are embarking on a number of additional projects including some significant initiatives. Since the declaration of a Climate Change and Ecological Emergency in July 2019 additional funding has been available to enable the rate of progress to increase.

The Council committed to becoming a Net Carbon Zero and Ecologically Positive Council by 2030 which includes the reduction of carbon emissions from the non-domestic building estate, which is responsible for over 60 percent of the Council’s overall emissions.

Members of the Energy team have tackled improving the efficiency of a range of buildings, from schools to leisure centres across the county.

This work has included complete mechanical, heating and ventilation overhauls, modifications to heating controls, heat recovery systems, heatpumps, solar PV (panels), LED lighting, battery storage, loft and wall insulation as well as emission reductions through behaviour change and ICT infrastructure.

Dinas Bran greening

Up to now emissions from the Council’s non domestic buildings have reduced by 11 percent since the 2019/20 financial year. This reduction equals to 1,069 tonnes of carbon emissions.

The team are not stopping with more schools to receive work over 2023 along with plans for drive through changes in other Council buildings. This future work is looking at the further roll out of solar PV, solar PV car ports, air source heat pumps, battery storage and complete overhauls of mechanical, ventilation and heating systems at some sites including upgrades to the electrical grid infrastructure.

Team members are even reducing their own travel emissions by using a zero tail pipe emission Renault Zoe electric vehicle.

Robert Jones, Principal Energy Manager said: “The energy team have embraced the increased workload and have been able to deliver some exciting and award nominated projects. The decarbonisation of old buildings can be challenging but we are finding innovative and modern solutions with the full support of the Council.

“Ysgol Dinas Bran and Ysgol Betws GG were standout projects for me, the former being mentioned in the House of Commons and nominated for a national award and the latter was our first ‘major remodel’ of an oil school which received; cavity wall and loft insulation, air source heatpump, solar PV, battery storage and LED lighting which was supported by the Welsh Government.

“The replacement of the two large boilers at Rhyl Pavilion, heating controls, LED lighting and Solar Panels on the roof was a challenging project carried out under limited time restraints but the site are now benefiting from significant reduced energy consumption and an improved working environment.”

Cllr Barry Mellor, Lead Member for Environment and Transport, said: “This work is extremely important for reducing our non-domestic building carbon footprint and we are grateful to the innovation brought in by our Property Section Energy team for tackling this issue to help us move towards net-zero.

“I look forward to seeing this innovation continue to drive down our building emissions through the projects to come. “