Energy projects first in line to help Hampshire meet Climate Change targets

Hampshire County Council’s Cabinet has agreed the first new projects to be launched which will impact on Hampshire’s carbon reduction and climate resilience targets as part of the Hampshire Climate Change Strategy

Jul 15 2020

Councillor Keith Mans, Leader of Hampshire County Council, said: “A significant amount of action on the ground is underway, in addition to the range of work going on across the County Council, to set Hampshire on track to meet our targets of zero carbon by 2050 at the same time as making sure we are prepared and resilient to the impact of a two degree temperature rise.

Councillor Rob Humby, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment at Hampshire County Council, said: “Hampshire’s Climate Change Strategy has been developed using a robust evidence-based approach to ensure we are focussing on the right areas and topics. It clearly demonstrates the County Council’s continued commitment to climate change despite the challenges of Covid-19 and the extreme financial pressures on Local Government.”

Work by the Carbon Trust has provided a robust and detailed breakdown based on local figures that shows the percentage of emissions from domestic property makes up nearly 24% of the total for Hampshire.

Councillor Jan Warwick, Hampshire County Council’s Climate Change Adviser to the Executive, said: “We know from new data specifically for Hampshire that emissions from domestic property are in the top three areas we need to tackle. These projects have been put forward as they will both deliver results for our carbon reduction and adaptation targets at the same time as help create a cohesive programme of activity with which individuals and communities can get involved.  If we work together, we can make a difference.”

Three initiatives, which have been specifically identified to contribute to the County Council Strategy’s carbon reduction and resilience targets, have been approved for roll out:

  • Telephone and Online Advice for Residents on Climate Change and Sustainability Evidence shows that the easier it is to make a change the more likely it is to happen.  The Environment Centre will be offering simple straightforward support to residents from a trusted source, by phone and online, with advice on how to take action in the home on climate change and wider sustainability. This could be anything from energy advice to insulation. 

Adam Goulden, Chief Executive at The Environment Centre said: “We are delighted to be a partner organisation in Hampshire County Council’s Climate Change Strategy and are looking forward to supporting as many people as possible to cut their carbon emissions, live healthier more sustainable lives and reduce their environmental impact. This is an exciting time with public and political opinion converging around an agenda that has never been more important. The actions set out in this strategy represent the steps that we can all take to help in the fight against climate change”

  • Establishing a Community Energy Network across Hampshire There is currently a limited amount of renewable energy generated in Hampshire. While the County Council could not fill this gap on its own, establishing a Community Energy Network across Hampshire will stimulate growth of the community energy sector.  The County Council can support and enable renewable energy in Hampshire and one way of doing this is through supporting community energy. This project involves two elements – one is a village-wide community energy pilot and the other is a mechanism to establish and support a network of community energy groups.

Ollie Pendered, Chief Executive of Community Energy South, said: “Community Energy South is excited to be working alongside Hampshire County Council on the path to Net Zero.  Community Energy has been a success story across the UK and we look forward to working with and supporting resilient communities across the county to establish their own local low carbon energy projects.

  • Targeted Solar Group Buying Scheme for Hampshire: Local councils have teamed up with iChoosr to organise this innovative scheme for homeowners as well as small and medium-sized enterprises (non-domestic), targeted to about 125,000 residents who can register for the Solar Together group-buying scheme. The auction is a reverse auction, meaning the lowest bid wins.

Marie-Louise Abretti, Manager at Solar Together, said: "Solar Together Hampshire will make it easy for homeowners to install solar panels and storage at a competitive price, from a trusted and pre-vetted installer, helping people across the county who are looking for opportunities to save on their energy bills, increase their independence from the grid and reduce their carbon emissions." 

The projects have been developed alongside research and a robust evidence base established to identify the greatest opportunities and barriers to reduce carbon emissions, what will most influence individuals and communities to make a change, and what will make the biggest difference.

The County Council has collaborated with the University of Southampton to measure and model carbon impacts of behaviour change.

Prof Mark Spearing, Vice President Research and Enterprise at the University of Southampton, said: “The threats posed by the climate emergency are pressing and it is excellent to see the collaboration between our University and the County Council leading to enhanced decision making informed by robust evidence and academic thinking. Our University is committed to delivering on its sustainability agenda and the partnership with Hampshire County Council enables us to work together to drive change and tackle the climate crisis.”

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