London’s public sector eyes carbon cuts

London's public sector is rolling out new model to tackle carbon from its buildings, which is hoped could eventually save the tax payer millions while helping to curb climate change.

So far 42 publicly owned buildings have taken advantage of the scheme, which essentially cuts red tape when it comes to procurement and tendering, while helping to make finance easier to get hold of.

The main beneficiaries so far have been fire stations, police stations and buildings associated with London’s public transport network, but there are hopes that colleges, hospitals and council offices will soon be reaping the benefits too.

London Mayor Boris Johnson visited Ilford fire station last week, where the building’s energy overhaul has enabled it to slash more than 40% of its carbon emissions.

A further nine fire stations, 10 Metropolitan Police Service and 22 Transport for London buildings have between them achieved on average a 27% reduction in carbon emissions and have saved £1 million off the annual fuel bills of London.

The Mayor has pledged another 58 Greater London Authority Group buildings will follow.

It is estimated if all the public sector buildings in London used this model, they could save around £500million off bills and the model can be replicated across the UK.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: ‘As expectant eyes around the globe turn to Copenhagen to see whether world leaders will take action on climate change, here in London we are making a difference right now.

“Cutting energy consumption in public buildings may not sound glamorous, but it could help us save the world from the threat of irreversible climate change.

“With a third of carbon emissions coming from our buildings, giving them a green makeover, is supremely good for the planet and for the public purse.

“This innovative financing and procurement model has cut out all the time delays and hassles for public sector organisations.

“We have tested it on our own fire stations, police stations and Transport for London buildings, so we know it delivers the goods in cutting carbon but also in making substantial cost savings and stimulating the demand for low carbon skills and technologies.

“We are willing and ready to share our solution with the rest of the UK and other world cities attempting to tread the same path and I am thrilled to see a clutch of foresighted organisations have already done so.”

Sam Bond

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