FENLAND: Bid to go green could save council a million but staff told to wear warm clothing

EXCLUSIVE By JOHN ELWORTHY SEVEN hundred council staff are to be told to wear warmer clothing to work so that heating can be turned down as part of a new keen to be green initiative. Fenland District Council is to reduce thermostats by one degree and h

EXCLUSIVE

By JOHN ELWORTHY

SEVEN hundred council staff are to be told to wear warmer clothing to work so that heating can be turned down as part of a new 'keen to be green' initiative.

Fenland District Council is to reduce thermostats by one degree and hope to reduce fuel costs by 10 per cent.


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Staff will also be told not to work weekends during the winter so that boilers can be shut down and portable heaters, fans and "non essential electrical appliances" removed from all council buildings.

The proposals form part of a radical five year plan to achieve a five year carbon dioxide reduction over the next five years.

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The council says it has quantified a series of projects with short payback periods to make energy and efficiency savings.

By 2012 the council believes it can reduce its energy costs by a third, down �1,068,068 to �4,648,531.

A 19 strong council team, headed by a project sponsor, Richard Cassidy, director of environment and leisure and guided by a project leader, Isabel Edgington, climate change officer, is being asked to deliver the savings.

Ms Edgington says that by "investing in energy saving measures the amount of energy being used will be reduced as will the amount of money being spent".

She believes the council can prevent 4,258 tonnes of carbon dioxide being emitted into the atmosphere. Enough, she says, "to fill 25,548 double decker buses".

'Keen to be Green' capital projects are being identified and 'green champions' will be identified to ensure savings are also made "by behavioural change at little or no cost. As a leader in the community, the lessons learnt will be widely disseminated to businesses through the Green Business Club".

A 28 page report outlining the proposals will be debated by Cabinet on Thursday which shows that in 2007 the council emitted 4,060 tonnes of carbon dioxide which costs the council three quarters of a million pounds and is continuing to rise.

"Doing nothing is not an option" councillors will be told.

The Carbon Trust has been working with Fenland Council and Huntingdonshire District Council to deliver the plan.

Council offices, leisure centres, street lighting and even public conveniences will all be targeted for efficiencies. Electric bikes, draught proofing of Fenland Hall, car sharing, and a war on waste - including printing and stationery- are included.

In total 23 projects have been identified which chief executive Tim Pilsbury describes as providing "clear evidence that as a council we take our social responsibility very seriously".

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