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Reducing Wiltshire's Carbon Footprint

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The council is working hard to reduce its CO2 emissions and its impact on climate change. However, as the council’s carbon emissions make up less than 2% of the Wiltshire’s emissions as a whole, the council is also leading the low carbon transition for the county.

The council’s Carbon Management Plan (CMP)

As of March 2011 Wiltshire Council has adopted a Carbon Management Plan (CMP). The CMP is a 5 year plan of how we can reduce carbon dioxide emissions from our buildings and operations. The plan pledges to save 11,800 tonnes of CO2 annually by end of March 2014 (equivalent to 20% of the council’s carbon footprint for 2008/09). This challenging target will require us to change how all parts of the council do their business. It places us firmly at the forefront of the fight against climate change and will enable us to lead others to follow our example to a low carbon future

The council is a signatory to the Nottingham Declaration which commits the council to tackling the causes and effects of climate change and to encourage all sectors to do the same. By signing up to the 10:10 campaign we will be expected to cut our emissions by at least 3% in 2010/11 compared with 2009/10 emissions.

Carbon reduction projects

The investment projects have initially been targeted at facilities where there is certainty regarding the future of the facility and where there are significant and cost-effective opportunities for energy saving. This has resulted in certain areas being targeted more than others and the distribution of projects will change as the level of certainty increases regarding the future of sites.

The projects below are listed by community area.

Community Area Projects Total Annual Carbon Saving (tCO2) Total Annual Avoided Cost (£)
Amesbury 2 46 941
Bradford on Avon 1 7 1,109
Calne 0 0 0
Chippenham 1 38 5,453
Corsham 1 27 2,778
Devizes 6 140 19,068
Malmesbury 0 0 0
Marlborough 5 49 6,420
Melksham 2 13 3,366
Pewsey 2 34 254
Salisbury 8 405 61,427
Southern Wiltshire 1 9 906
South West Wiltshire 0 0 0
Tidworth 1 1 77
Trowbridge 2 109 15,111
Warminster 0 0 0
Westbury 0 0 0
Wootton Bassett and Cricklade 0 0 0
All Areas 1 249 36,800
Totals 33 1,127 153,710

Find out about the projects in each region

Energy management

Direction on how environmental and energy issues should be managed in the council is provided through the PDFClimate change environmental policy environmental policy 84kb and PDFWiltshire Council Energy Policy energy policy. 143kb

The objectives contained within these policies will be embedded throughout the work of all council departments.

The energy policy will form the foundation of a certified energy management system that will be installed by the council. This will provide a structured approach to dealing with energy issues and improving energy performance.

What is Wiltshire’s carbon footprint?

Wiltshire’s CO2 emissions are directly related to the amount of energy consumed by heating, lighting, transport and manufacture. Each fuel type, such as natural gas, coal or oil has a different carbon intensity, meaning that it generates a different amount of CO2 when burned.

It is estimated that in 2007 the average person in Wiltshire released 10.51 tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere. Of the 10.51 tonnes released, 4.7 tonnes came from industrial and commercial activity, 2.57 tonnes came from domestic use, 2.98 came from transport and 0.02 tonnes came from land use change and forestry. Council emissions represent 1.2% of Wiltshire emissions. It is estimated that we have to reduce this figure by as much as 80% by the middle of this century if we are to avoid the most extreme weather events caused by climate change.

The low carbon transition

Within the council’s corporate plan there is a target to pilot energy efficiency and renewable energy projects by 2014 in each of our community areas.

To make sure that the target is met, a low carbon transition plan for Wiltshire will be produced as one of the action plans under the ECO Strategy framework. This will be accompanied by a renewable energy action plan which will highlight the opportunity for renewable energy in Wiltshire.

The low carbon transition plan will focus on the following:

  • Carbon reduction scenarios: a greater understanding of the county’s carbon footprint and the sources of emissions is needed.
  • Influencing policy: many of the plans and policies, such as planning and transport, that are developed by the council and other public sector partners, for example the Ministry of Defence, have a direct influence on people’s lives and carbon emissions.
  • Engagement with community groups and individuals wishing to take action: there are a number of community-based action groups in Wiltshire that have an interest in climate change.
  • The low carbon economy: low carbon transition can benefit the economy in Wiltshire in two ways. The council will support businesses in Wiltshire to improve their energy efficiency and promote the uptake of renewable energy.

Home Energy Conservation Act (HECA)

In response the HECA, Wiltshire Council has prepared a report setting out the energy conservation measures that the authority considers practicable, cost effective and likely to result in significant improvement in the energy efficiency of residential accommodation.

Improving the energy efficiency of properties reduces carbon emissions, enables affordable warmth, alleviates fuel poverty and improves the condition of the housing stock. you can view more information in the PDFWiltshire Council HECA report Wiltshire Council HECA report 470kb.

Renewable energy

Renewable energy technologies like wind turbines, solar panels and biomass heaters offer an alternative to fossil fuels and can help reduce our CO2 emissions.

There are financial benefits too. Investing in a renewable energy technology now basically means pre-buying energy at today’s prices for a future where energy may cost a lot more. If fuel prices rise, your pay back would happen even sooner.

Feed-In Tariffs (FIT)

Feed-in Tariffs (FITs) became available in Great Britain on 1st April 2010. Under this scheme energy suppliers make regular payments to householders, communities and organisations who generate their own electricity from renewable or low carbon sources such as solar electricity or wind turbines.

PDFFeed-In Tariffs scheme Read more about the feed-In tariff scheme 226kb and which technologies it applies to.

Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)

The UK Government has now announced the introduction of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) from 2011 as part of their Comprehensive Spending Review.

The scheme is expected to be launched in late summer 2011. Further details along with tariff levels are expected to be confirmed by March 2011.

Visit the Department of Energy and Climate Change website for more details on the Renewable Heat Incentive.

Community Owned Energy

A number of community-based action groups in Wiltshire are interested in climate change. These groups range in size from a few individuals to larger groups that cover entire community areas and are best placed to take local action at the grass roots level. The council establishes and publicises grant schemes, including future loan schemes in partnership with Wessex Reinvestment Trust.

Organisations that can assist in community owned energy are:

Wiltshire World Changers: The new Wiltshire World Changers website will be launched in April 2011. The new website will include a group directory, interactive forum, events calendar, and access to useful resources on promotion, governance and project ideas.

The Centre for Sustainable Energy provides support to communities that want to see real changes in the way they use energy.

Wiltshire Community Wind Energy is a voluntary local Wiltshire group established in 2008.

So, what can I do to help reduce my carbon emissions?

As well as being involved in some of the exciting new initiatives that we are implementing you can take action that will make a real difference and help fight against climate change.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. Start saving money and energy by making your home or business more energy efficient. Visit the Energy Saving Trust website or call your local advice centre on 0800 512 012 for information on energy efficiency. The Energy Saving Trust will also be able to give you information on the availability of grants to help you pay for improvements. You can also read the PDFWiltshire Council HECA report home energy efficiency 470kb advice on our website.
  2. Spread the word and raise awareness of climate change in your local community. You can do this by talking to people in your own personal network about energy efficiency and what the local authority and you yourself are doing.
  3. Borrow a free energy monitor from your local library to find out where you are wasting energy.
  4. Join the Wiltshire World Changers Network which sets out to raise awareness and co-ordinate best practice between Wiltshire people and communities on environmental issues. The new Wiltshire World Changers website will be launched during climate week 2011. The new website includes a group directory, interactive forum, events calendar, and access to useful resources on promotion, governance and project ideas.
  5. If you are concerned about climate change you might like to visit Fair Shares, Fair Choice, a DEFRA sponsored carbon reduction project for the south west. It offers a choice of virtual ‘carbon coaches’, characters who offer businesses, organisations and individuals help and support in creating their own beneficial carbon action plans. Fair Shares, Fair Choice shows you what choices you can make to live and work within your own fair carbon budget.
  6. If you are buying a new car you can compare vehicle fuel efficiency and find out about carbon emissions at Act on CO2. This site also gives tips on greener driving to help you save fuel and money.
  7. If you are concerned about your carbon footprint and are interested in off-setting your emissions by giving to charity or investing in carbon replacement projects visit the DEFRA website.

Contact Details (LiveLink)

Multiple Contacts:
eMail: GET@wiltshire.gov.uk
Telephone: 01225 756156
Out of hours:
Postal Address: Energy, Change and Opportunity (ECO) Team
Economy and Enterprise
Wiltshire Council
County Hall
BA14 8JN
In Person:

Last updated: 4 August 2014



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Energy, Change and Opportunity (ECO) Team
Economy and Enterprise
Wiltshire Council
County Hall
BA14 8JN