Upgrading public buildings to save taxpayers £650m a year

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  • Half a billion pounds awarded to retrofit public buildings in England with affordable, low-carbon heating and energy efficiency measures
  • These measures will save public organizations and taxpayers an average of £650m a year on energy bills over the next 15 years
  • The investment is part of total public spending of £2.5billion on upgrading public sector buildings between 2020 and 2025

Hospitals, schools, libraries, museums and leisure centers across England are among hundreds of public buildings that will reduce their use of expensive fossil fuels and save millions of pounds on bills, thanks to funding government of £553 million for affordable, low-carbon heating. energy efficiency upgrades.

These improved heating systems, powered by cleaner and cheaper renewable energy, will reduce the use of fossil fuels exposed to the volatility of global energy prices, support thousands of jobs and also save money. taxpayers, as these measures will ensure that public buildings will be cheaper to heat. Local authorities, public bodies and taxpayers are expected to save an average of £650m a year on their energy bills over the next 15 years.

Funding through the government’s public sector decarbonisation program will install clean and efficient heat pumps and improve energy efficiency (such as insulation) in 160 public sector organizations such as the Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Manchester Fire and Rescue and historic sites at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Upgrades are already underway with grants awarded to 381 public sector organizations across England under the first two phases of the government scheme, with phase 1 alone supporting up to 30,000 clean jobs in clean heating and energy efficiency sectors.

Business and Energy Minister Lord Callanan said:

Using cleaner technologies to heat our municipal buildings helps protect public sector organizations from expensive fossil fuels, especially at a time of high global prices.

This funding will deliver significant savings to taxpayers of over half a billion pounds every year by making public buildings cheaper to run, heat and cool, while supporting economic growth and jobs across the country. .

The first round of funding allocated under Phase 3 of the government’s public sector decarbonization program will provide grants to 160 public sector organizations across the country to install 217 clean heat and energy efficiency projects.

The funding is part of the £6.6 billion the government is investing in this parliament to reduce fossil fuel use and emissions from buildings, while creating highly paid and highly skilled jobs. In addition to the funding allocated to the public sector decarbonisation programme, over £2bn is specifically targeted at low-income households and enabling people to save money on their energy bills.

The Public Sector Decarbonization Program supports the goal of reducing emissions from public sector buildings by 75%, below 2017 levels, by 2037. Today’s funding is the first part of a total of £1.425 billion to be allocated through Phase 3 over three years to 2025.

There will be multiple opportunities for the public sector to secure funding through Phase 3 of the Public Sector Decarbonization Program. Guidance on how to apply for the next round of applications, Phase 3b, will be published in July, with the application window due to open for applications in September.

Among the projects to be supported under phase 3 of the public sector decarbonization program are:

  • Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust receives over £70m to decarbonize Queens Medical Center.
  • The Greater Manchester Combined Authority is receiving £15.5m to install low carbon heating at various notable institutions including the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, University of Salford, National Football Museum and University from Manchester.
  • The Hartismere Schools family will receive over £600,000 to install a heat pump and improve energy efficiency at Somerleyton Primary School in Suffolk, a school which was built in 1845 and still has a thatched roof .
  • The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew will invest more than £4.4million to decarbonize the Grade II listed Nash Conservatory and Jodrell Laboratory.
  • The Exmoor National Park Authority is receiving £115,000 to install clean heating at the Pinkery Outdoor Education Centre, which is off-grid and has no gas, electricity or water.
  • Leeds City Council is receiving £4.3m to decarbonise 6 primary schools and 4 day care centres.
  • The Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust is receiving more than £50million to install clean heating and energy efficiency measures at Birmingham Women’s Hospital and Birmingham Children’s Hospital, while the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust will receive £32million sterling to decarbonize New Cross Hospital.

This funding will see the installation of low-carbon heating systems, including heat pumps and electric heating, in some of England’s most recognizable and loved public buildings, with many projects also incorporating measures energy efficiency, such as wall and roof insulation, double glazing and LEDs. lighting and renewable energies such as solar panels.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said:

Here in Greater Manchester, we know we need to take bold and meaningful steps across the board to become carbon neutral by 2038. By moving towards a greener economy, we can foster new skills and create thousands good jobs, fueling our recovery from the pandemic and charting the course for a more sustainable, low-carbon future.

The £100m funding we have received so far is helping our public sector lead the way in this effort, showing exactly what we can achieve with the right investment and a collaborative approach. We have retrofitted over 130 public buildings and reduced over 8,000 tonnes of harmful emissions, while supporting and safeguarding nearly 2,000 jobs in our local economy.

We hope this is just the start of a renewed effort to work together nationally and locally, helping us to go further and faster in reducing emissions and tackling the climate emergency.

Sarah-Jane Marsh, chief executive of Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, said:

Birmingham Women’s and Children’s has been committed to reducing its carbon output for many years. But the scale of what was needed, and the money involved, made it nearly impossible.

Anyone who has been to one of our hospitals will have experienced the extreme temperatures. The 60-year-old Women’s Hospital is like a greenhouse in the summer and a freezer in the winter. The Grade II-listed children’s hospital, with its 125-year-old single-glazed windows, faces many of the same challenges.

Now, with this generous £53m BEIS grant, which complements our future planning and Big Build ambitions, we can make much needed improvements, not just for our women, children, young people and families, but also for the environment on which we all depend. .

Peter Alesbury, Director of Estates at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, said:

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is committed to taking urgent action to tackle climate change and achieve the goals set out in our sustainability strategy, including becoming climate positive by 2030. This funding will help achieve significant carbon savings and will bring us one step closer to achieving that goal.

The system will be implemented on behalf of the State by Salix Finance.

Salix Finance Managing Director Annie Shepperd OBE said:

This investment transforms public buildings, reduces their carbon footprint and improves the experience of their users, including students, hospital patients and visitors, and everyone who uses libraries and recreation centres.

Salix staff are proud to work as the delivery partner of this program and to see the impact it is having.

Notes to Editors

  • Projects supported so far by the Public Sector Decarbonization Program.

  • The BEIS delivery organization, Salix Finance, manages the public sector decarbonization program. More information can be found on the Salix Finance website.
  • The regional funding breakdown for this Phase 3 cycle is:
  • West Midlands: £133.9m
  • East Midlands: £103.9m
  • London: £90.8 million
  • North West: £51.8 million
  • South West: £29.9m
  • South East: £55.6m
  • East of England: £29.8m
  • North East: £5.8 million
  • Yorkshire and Humber: £42.9m
  • Phase 1 of the Public Sector Decarbonisation Program has provided £1bn in grants as part of the Chancellor’s Plan for Jobs 2020 commitment to support the UK’s economic recovery from COVID-19. It aimed to support up to 30,000 jobs in low-carbon and energy-efficient sectors and reduce carbon emissions from the public sector.
  • Phase 2 of the public sector decarbonisation program provided £75m in grants for the financial year 2021/2022. It has helped the public sector adopt a “whole building” approach when decarbonizing their assets.
  • Guidance on how to apply for the next round of program applications, Phase 3b, will be released in July. More information on the next round of applications, which is expected to open in September.

  • This funding is part of the £6.6billion the government is investing in this parliament to decarbonise buildings, of which more than £2billion is specifically aimed at low-income households and helping people save energy. money on their energy bills.
  • The government is also providing £14m in grants in the current financial year up to Phase 3 of the Public Sector Low Carbon Skills Fund. This will provide funding for public sector organizations to access the skills and expertise needed to plan the decarbonisation of heating in their buildings, including enabling organizations to develop apps for the public sector decarbonisation programme.
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