New plan outlines investment into a carbon net zero Newark and Sherwood

Posted on: Wednesday, December 7, 2022

LAST night, the District Council confirmed its commitment to achieve carbon net zero across the entire District through its agreement with a Local Area Energy Plan (LAEP).

Whilst plans targeting the District Council’s direct emissions are already in place, in the form of the Climate Emergency Strategy and an associated Greening Newark and Sherwood Action Plan, the investment into the LAEP will look at identifying potential ways to achieve carbon net zero across the district as a whole.

A key proposal of the plan is the investment into the improvement of energy efficiency of both private and District Council-owned homes.

Homes with an EPC rating of D-G would be prioritised, once assessed and, if deemed suitable, would be fit with fabric retrofit improvements or low carbon heating systems. This investment would result in the decarbonisation of energy across the district.

The plan also outlines the route to switching to low carbon private and Council owned transport. Installation of public charge points would be funded, and whilst the District Council has already purchased two electric vehicles, it would continue the investment into low carbon transport for its Council-owned vehicle fleets.

Potential local opportunities for renewable energy generation on Council-owned land, using technology such as solar panels and wind turbines, will also be identified.

The LAEP forms a key focus point of the East Midlands Devolution Deal, which features net zero ambitions at the forefront, and this deal was previously supported at Cabinet and Full Council in October 2022.

Carbon net zero means that any carbon emissions created are balanced out by taking the same amount out of the atmosphere. Net zero will be reached once the amount of carbon emissions added is no more than the amount removed.

The work outlined in the LAEP would not only lead the district towards it’s net zero carbon goal, but also bring socio-economic and health benefits. These include:

  • The creation of new ‘green’ jobs as a result of low carbon investments in local areas.
  • A reduction in fuel poverty through lower cost warmth.
  • Benefits to health and comfort from warmer homes and improved air quality.
  • More grant funding opportunities.
  • Economies of scale with mass procurement opportunities.

Councillor David Lloyd, Leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “We all want a cleaner, safer, greener district and the opportunities to get further grant funding towards these investments will be extremely beneficial in meeting our individual net zero targets and allow us to make strides in carbon reduction at a district level.

“The LAEP will also enable the creation of an interconnected work stream between housing, energy generation and electrification of vehicles and I look forward to seeing what we can achieve using this plan to guide us.”