Bristol City Council launches £750m clean energy plan

Bristol is committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

Last year, Bristol City Council launched a city-wide £1bn investment plan, Bristol City Leap, in collaboration with Ameresco and its subcontractor Vattenfall Heat UK, to decarbonise heat and buildings, and accelerate renewables deployment to achieve net-zero emissions by 2030.

The clean energy plan, covering the period from 2024 to 2029, outlines a trajectory to draw more than £100m of anticipated additional investment to the city, surpassing initial projections made last year.

It aims to revolutionise Bristol’s infrastructure landscape including the installation of city-wide electric vehicle (EV) charging points, retrofitting social housing and implementing clean energy solutions in schools.

Moreover, efforts are expected to intensify to develop the Bristol Heat Network, and advance large-scale renewable energy projects.

By 2028, Bristol City Leap anticipates deploying nearly 200 megawatts (MW) of low carbon energy generation infrastructure and reducing carbon emissions by approximately 140,000 tonnes.

Bristol City Leap’s senior vice president Mark Apsey MBE said: “Bristol City Leap is a world first, game changing approach to decarbonisation that could provide a scalable and replicable model for other cities to follow.

“City-scale long-term partnerships present us with an unparalleled opportunity to develop place-based energy solutions that help accelerate the transition to net-zero whilst contributing significantly to society through local job creation, education, warmer homes and much needed funding to support our communities.”

Progress so far

Since its launch in January 2023, Bristol City Leap has collaborated with local organisations and commercial partners and communities to establish the foundation for decarbonisation projects across the city, while delivering £4m worth of energy efficiency measures for low-income households.

This includes providing solar panels, heat pumps and insulation upgrades to more than 200 low-income households through the Bright Green Homes scheme, as well as installing an air source heat pump at Blaise Primary School.

In addition to environmental benefits, the initiative also focuses on providing social value, with more than £6.5m invested in the local community, creating more than 100 jobs and work placements. These contributions include a £3m investment to local suppliers, providing work experience opportunities and volunteering efforts aimed at improving communities.

The Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees OBE said: “Bristol City Leap is a big deal for Bristolians. It is now inspiring other places, with Government support, to look at our model for using clean energy to help build a city where nobody is left behind.”

By 2030, the Council aims to achieve EPC rating ‘C’ or better for all the Council’s social housing, contributing to Bristol becoming carbon neutral and supporting significant reductions in cases of fuel poverty and unhealthy homes.

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie