Watford Borough Council publishes carbon emissions reduction plan

Electric cars, light sensors and improvements to park changing rooms could help Watford Borough Council to reduce its carbon emissions.

Last year the council signed up to the Carbon Trust Local Authority Carbon Management programme and its five year plan to reduce emissions by 30 per cent has now been published.

From a baseline of 3,972 tonnes of CO2 in 2009/10, the council is predicted to have a “business as usual” emissions rate of 4,113 tonnes by 2015.

A 30 per cent saving would represent 1.191.6 tonnes by that time, reducing emissions to 2,780 tonnes.

The council has already identified ways to reach 16 per cent of their reduction target, through existing schemes such as the redevelopment of the council depot in Wiggenhall Road and the closure of the Church Street toilets.

Investment of £242,643 has also been secured to run projects that will save a further 63 per cent of the target, with 21 per cent outstanding.

In 2009/10, emissions cost the council £565,000 and taking no action could cost the council £220,500 by 2015.

However, the 30 per cent reduction, if achieved, would save almost £700,000.

Ways identified to reduce emissions include a staff awareness campaign, turning off lights and shutting windows, “smarter driving”, buying electric vehicles and upgrading lights with sensors.

Meanwhile, projects to be investigated in the future include putting solar panels on the Town Hall roof.

Councillor Derek Scudder, portfolio holder for the environment, told Cabinet last night (Monday): “Over the course of the five year programme, our aim is to reduce carbon emissions by 30 per cent. There will be some up-front investment, with savings of £673,000 over that time.

“It's pulling together everything we do as a council that contributes to that reduction in carbon, from the cemetery chapel north Watford heater timer through to hot desking and getting staff to turn off computers.

“It's an ongoing project so projects will emerge during that five years [about how to make up the shortfall] but obviously engagement with staff is important.

“It's really important for us, apart from being the right thing to do, as it will save the council a lot of money.”

Alan Gough, head of environmental services, added: “It's very exciting and the first time we have pulled all this together under a single umbrella.

“I think it's very good how the council will be setting a good local example. A little thing we do adds up so nothing is too small and nothing is too big.”

Comments (3)

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1:25pm Tue 22 Feb 11

Andrew1963 says...

Electric vans (UPS use many in central London) would be a good investment. From the look of local milk floats electric vehicles also have a longevity far superior to their petrol head equivalents. Putting solar electricity generating roofs on the leisure centres should come before the Town Hall - Their roofs are far larger -
Electric vans (UPS use many in central London) would be a good investment. From the look of local milk floats electric vehicles also have a longevity far superior to their petrol head equivalents. Putting solar electricity generating roofs on the leisure centres should come before the Town Hall - Their roofs are far larger - Andrew1963

1:41pm Tue 22 Feb 11

LSC says...

Perfect example of near-sighted thinking that will ultimately kill the planet. Yes, there are some sensible ideas in there, like closing windows and turning off lights. But then they, as always, get silly.
Let us say that fitting solar panels to the Town Hall reduces its carbon foot print by 100 tons. Jolly well done. But has anyone at the town hall ever thought how solar panels are made? They don't grow on trees. 100 tons saved at the town hall is 500 tons extra at the solar panel factory, 100 tons extra at the power station that feeds it, 100 tons on transport from China... Even the guy who has to clean the things every two weeks probably drives a diesil Transit van!
Of course, none of that is factored into the sums, or it suddenly doesn't look as good, does it? Plus you need batteries, an inverter and a charge controller. To make all these you need plastics, copper, phosphorous, silver, lead, steel, monocrystalline silicon, polycrystalline silicon, amorphous silicon, cadmium telluride, and copper indium selenide/sulfide to name just a few components. You think you can buy all that in Tecos?
No, all that has to be mined or manufactured, which creates a rather big carbon footprint.
Think about it next time you want to show off how green you are.
Perfect example of near-sighted thinking that will ultimately kill the planet. Yes, there are some sensible ideas in there, like closing windows and turning off lights. But then they, as always, get silly. Let us say that fitting solar panels to the Town Hall reduces its carbon foot print by 100 tons. Jolly well done. But has anyone at the town hall ever thought how solar panels are made? They don't grow on trees. 100 tons saved at the town hall is 500 tons extra at the solar panel factory, 100 tons extra at the power station that feeds it, 100 tons on transport from China... Even the guy who has to clean the things every two weeks probably drives a diesil Transit van! Of course, none of that is factored into the sums, or it suddenly doesn't look as good, does it? Plus you need batteries, an inverter and a charge controller. To make all these you need plastics, copper, phosphorous, silver, lead, steel, monocrystalline silicon, polycrystalline silicon, amorphous silicon, cadmium telluride, and copper indium selenide/sulfide to name just a few components. You think you can buy all that in Tecos? No, all that has to be mined or manufactured, which creates a rather big carbon footprint. Think about it next time you want to show off how green you are. LSC

3:31pm Tue 22 Feb 11

Mike Watford says...

Andrew1963 wrote:
Electric vans (UPS use many in central London) would be a good investment. From the look of local milk floats electric vehicles also have a longevity far superior to their petrol head equivalents. Putting solar electricity generating roofs on the leisure centres should come before the Town Hall - Their roofs are far larger -
I think both leisure centres do already have solar panels - certainly the Central one on Hempstead Road does (can see them as you walk by)
[quote][p][bold]Andrew1963[/bold] wrote: Electric vans (UPS use many in central London) would be a good investment. From the look of local milk floats electric vehicles also have a longevity far superior to their petrol head equivalents. Putting solar electricity generating roofs on the leisure centres should come before the Town Hall - Their roofs are far larger -[/p][/quote]I think both leisure centres do already have solar panels - certainly the Central one on Hempstead Road does (can see them as you walk by) Mike Watford

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