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£2.4million energy conservation project for county

A £2.4MILLION energy conservation project has been rolled out across key Carmarthenshire County Council buildings as the council strides towards its 2030 zero-carbon target.

The council has been working with Ameresco, a cleantech company on the public sector Re:Fit framework that specialises in energy efficiency and renewable energy to improve local authority, school and hospital buildings across Wales and England.

An extensive range of energy conservation measures have been installed across council buildings, including solar PV panels, LED lighting replacement, lighting controls, pipework insulation, building fabric improvements, boiler upgrades and water and heat saving technology.

Members of the public will see examples across Carmarthenshire County Council leisure centres where pool covers preserve heat to lower running costs, and at Carmarthen where large-scale solar panel installations span the roof.

By replacing aging infrastructure and optimising the running of existing equipment, the project will deliver annual energy savings of over two million kWh – equivalent to around £315,726 in annual cost savings and 675 tonnes of annual CO2 reduction.

Cllr Ann Davies, Executive Board Member with responsibility for climate change, said the investment will significantly reduce the authority’s carbon emissions, energy consumption and increase renewable energy generation.

“Working with Ameresco has allowed us to accelerate the roll-out of our energy efficiency programme in a more comprehensive manner and at a greater pace than could be achieved using limited in-house resources,” she said. “We look forward to developing further phases to help us become a net zero carbon local authority by 2030.”

Britta MacIntosh, senior vice president of Ameresco, added: “Our project with Carmarthenshire County Council is a demonstration of our continued commitment to delivering sustainable solutions worldwide.

“The council’s progressive climate change goals provide a model for communities who strive to become cleaner and more efficient, and we are thrilled to be a part of seeing such plans come to fruition.”

Last year Carmarthenshire County Council became the first local authority in Wales to publish a climate change action plan detailing how it will work towards becoming net zero carbon by 2030, and in 2019 became one of the first councils in the UK to declare a climate emergency.

The council procures all its electricity from renewable energy sources and ensures that all new major build projects incorporate renewable energy, including solar panels, air and ground source heat pumps where appropriate.

Other efforts to reduce carbon emissions include converting street lights to low energy LED and upgraded fleet including electric cars and more energy efficient refuse and gritting vehicles.

The council is also working with other public bodies to deliver wider change, exploring opportunities for tree planting and renewable energy generation on council-owned land.

Find out more about the council’s commitment to net carbon zero and practical ways the council is saving energy, by visiting www.carmarthenshire.gov.wales

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