Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Cabinet Decision: 22nd November 2007
Title of Item/Report
Carbon Management - A Case For Action
Record of the Decision
Members were reminded that at the Cabinet meeting on 15th March 2007 it had been resolved that the draft Stockton on Tees Climate Change Action plan be adopted. Members were provided with a report that set out the case for action by Stockton on Tees Borough Council to reduce its carbon emissions by 25% over five years. It showed that through the implementation of a programme of measures significant savings could be made in both emissions and in financial terms. A key part of the programme was the ability to demonstrate that all of these measures would have a payback period of five years or less, making it an "invest to save" plan.

Cabinet was informed that in May of this year Stockton had been accepted onto the carbon management programme as one of 29 local authorities, and the most northerly council to participate in this phase of the programme. The programme included the Council's administration buildings, leisure facilities, libraries and other public buildings, schools, fleet and business travel as well as street lighting. It was explained that Tristar Homes had not been included in the scope of the programme as there were other drivers and programmes in place to improve the energy efficiency of the social housing stock.

Cabinet noted that around 40 opportunities had been identified as potential projects to develop as part of the carbon management programme.

The initial stages of the programme were based around short term gains or "quick wins" in order to make an early impact and to ensure the revolving loan budget was replenished quickly. It was noted that the case for action indicated that the Council could make savings of 4.2 m and 23,164 tonnes of C02 over five years.

A major part of the programme would be raising awareness within the organisation and this was to be achieved through a campaign developed in-house and which needed to involve all service areas and staff. Being involved with this programme provided the council with the opportunity to bid for funding from the Salix finance company, a not-for-profit organisation established by the carbon trust with 20m of government funds to invest in energy efficiency measures.

Members noted that the next stage of the programme would consist of developing the project opportunities formulating the strategy, developing the financial model and implementation plan. This implementation plan would be presented to a meeting of Cabinet in March 2008.

The awareness campaign would be rolled out to the Council's our administrative buildings, schools, leisure facilities, libraries and other public buildings.

Cabinet suggested that this issue should be placed on the agenda of school governing bodies to help raise awareness and focus in this area.

RESOLVED that

1. Members note that the Council had been accepted on to the local authority carbon management programme.

2. the "case for action" and the associated reductions in carbon emissions and financial benefits be noted.

3. the financial model utilising the available Salix funds for the delivery of carbon reduction projects be developed by officers. Any match funding to be subject to the allocation of resources through the budget process.

4. Officers progress to the next stage of the carbon management programme and produce a strategy and implementation plan to be considered at the cabinet meeting in March 2008.

5. the Carbon Management Programme be placed on the agendas of meetings of all school governing bodies within the Borough.
Reasons for the Decision
Climate change is real. The daily effects of climate change, the availability and cost of fossil fuels, environmental regulation and new technology will change the shape of energy use and supply and make the emission of greenhouse gases one of society's key concerns.

As an organisation Stockton Borough council is responsible through its activities and buildings for 2% of the total CO2 emissions in the Borough.

Stockton Council has a Community leadership role to use resources wisely, setting an example to other businesses, stakeholders, partner organisations and the wider community.

There is a need to meet climate change-driven regulation governing the public sector such as the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and the proposed Carbon Reduction Commitment scheme. Participation in the carbon management programme will put the Council in a position to meet these challenges and to stay ahead of the wave of regulatory pressures.

To deliver the significant reduction in carbon usage and consequent financial savings will require a robust strategy and implementation plan. This will be developed with the assistance of the carbon trust and through networking with other local authorities in the programme.

Adequate resources will be required to implement the measures necessary to achieve the carbon savings, at present the Council attributes 100,000 a year for energy efficiency initiatives. A substantial increase may be needed in order to fully realise the range of opportunities to save energy identified to date. The Government are supporting an energy efficiency investment fund, which will operate as a revolving loan adopting the criteria set by the Salix finance organisation. This is in practice an invest to save model with a proven mechanism for calculation of pay-back periods. A financial model will be developed for consideration during next years resource setting process.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
None
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
Councillor Cunningham declared a personal, non prejudicial interest in this item as he was employed as an energy consultant.

Councillor Nelson declared a personal, non prejudicial interest in this item as he was a Member of the Tristar Homes Management Board.
Details of any Dispensations
Not Applicable
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
By no later than midnight on Friday 30th November 2007
Attachment

Date of Publication: 26 November 2007


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