The District Council looks to invest in renewable energy for social housing

Posted on: Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Newark and Sherwood District Council continues to make strides towards a greener and more sustainable future as plans to bring renewable energy to its Housing with Care Schemes are recommended.

If the plans are approved by the District Council’s Cabinet, on Tuesday 20 February, an additional £217,000 of funding will be allocated towards installing solar photovoltaic (PV) panels at Gladstone House, Newark, and The Broadleaves in Ollerton

These recommendations follow energy reviews that identified several areas where energy savings could be made including the installation of solar panels and securing an improved energy supply tariff.

There has been an increase in energy costs across the UK and the recommended plans would look to not only benefit the environment but tenants, as the introduction of renewable energy will lower the costs of heating the communal areas and hopefully help reduce their service charges with a positive impact on tenants household budget.

Tenants from both sites have given encouraging feedback to the plans in terms of both the environmental impact of the solar panels and on the potential reduction of costs.

Councillor Lee Brazier, Portfolio Holder for Housing at Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “Carbon reduction projects such this are an important step towards creating more sustainable, carbon conscious and environmentally friendly homes for our residents to live in, and not only that, but these installations could also offer real benefits to our tenants by reducing their service changes, and I’m pleased to see that tenants have given their support to the plans.”

The installation is expected to generate more than 225,000 kWh of electricity on an annual basis, in turn saving over 45 tCO2e of carbon emissions annually. To compare this a round-trip flight between Boston and London emits approximately one ton of CO2 per passenger! *

This work complements the District Council’s commitment to achieving carbon net zero, and after declaring the Climate Emergency in 2019 has been working on several initiatives to reduce and offset its carbon emissions. This includes over £1 million committed to be spent on greening initiatives by the end of the financial year, the decarbonisation plans for Council owned buildings, solar PV panels being installed at five sites around the district, and the plans to deliver a £2.6m social housing decarbonisation programme to target tenants with oil or LPG heating systems and replace them with carbon neutral alternatives.

Councillor Keith Melton, Portfolio Holder for Climate Change at Newark and Sherwood District Council said: “Investing in renewable energy is vital for the sustainable future we are working towards in Newark and Sherwood, and I hope to see these plans approved and moving forward.

“We know that protecting our environment is a priority of our residents, and projects like this are a wonderful example of the long-term investments we are pushing to help us build the greener district we all want to see.”

*U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Emission Factors for Greenhouse Gas Inventories.

UPDATE: These recommendations were approved on Tuesday 20 February 2023