West Suffolk Council wins award for environmental work
A district councillor says there is more to do after an authority won an award thanks to its environmental work which is helping residents and businesses cut carbon emissions and save money.
West Suffolk Council is working to reduce its own carbon emissions to net zero by 2030 and influence residents and businesses to make similar steps.
And for its efforts, it was named Regional Council of the Year in the Energy Efficiency Association, East of England Energy Efficiency Awards.
The award recognises the council's work to insulate park homes across West Suffolk. Seventy five have been completed so far.
It is expected the insulation work undertaken, by Cornerstone East Anglia, at homes across sites including Beck Row and Shepherds Grove near Stanton, will cut carbon emissions by 30 tonnes each year.
It is also saving each household more than £100 a year on their energy bills.
Cllr Andy Drummond, cabinet member for Regulatory and Environment at West Suffolk Council, said: “West Suffolk is working to address climate change and deliver environmental improvements.
"We have invested in renewable technologies to provide electricity and heat as well as purchasing 100 per cent renewable electricity for our buildings, we have been working to address and improve air quality, we have created more electric vehicle charge points in Council owned car parks with more to be installed soon, and last year we planted 1,500 trees.
"Alongside all these things, we are working to support residents, particularly those who are on low incomes, to live in healthier, more energy efficient homes.
"And we are working to help make it easier for businesses to make huge cuts in carbon emissions alongside financial savings, all for the benefit of the local environment that we all share.
"I am pleased to see part of our environmental work recognised with this award but of course there is still much more that we want to do to deliver even more cuts to carbon emissions as well as helping residents and businesses save money.”
The park homes were selected as they were recognised to be less energy efficient than other types of homes, while the residents who live there are typically on low incomes.
A second phase of these works is now underway with West Suffolk Council looking to insulate another 75 park homes between now and next March.
Both the completed works and the second phase are being delivered using £1.4m of Government funding from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) secured under the Green Home Grant Local Authority Delivery scheme.
Further works may be carried out beyond March subject to funding.
West Suffolk Council also runs the Solar for Business scheme which has installed more than 10,000 solar panels at 63 business premises, saving them a collective £125,000 a year in reduced energy costs and cutting their carbon emissions by 900 tonnes per year.
The scheme is free to businesses with the Council taking care of installation and maintenance costs.
Alongside this work, West Suffolk Council also offers Greener Business Grants which can see local businesses awarded up to £10,000 for eligible energy efficiency measures.
For more information about Solar for Business, the Greener Business Grant or the other support available, call 01284 757622 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more on the wider environmental work of the Council, visit www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/protecting-our-environment