City of London Corporation issues contract to reduce energy costs by £500,000 annually

The City of London Corporation has awarded a contract to Vital Energi to carry out energy-related retrofits of iconic buildings such as the Barbican Centre and Guildhall School of Music and Drama that will save almost £500,000 each year.

Last year, the City of London Corporation committed to reaching net-zero across its investments and supply chain by 2040

Last year, the City of London Corporation committed to reaching net-zero across its investments and supply chain by 2040

The contract will see Vital Energi carry out retrofits within five well-known London buildings including the Barbican Centre, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and the City Corporation’s Guildhall headquarters. The contract will deliver energy savings of £480,000 and carbon savings of more than 1,000 tonnes each year.

The project will be delivered through the Greater London Authority’s Retrofit Accelerator framework designed to help make London's non-domestic public buildings and assets more energy efficient, and the works will be funded via the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS).

Solutions will include pipe distribution repairs, ventilation distribution repairs, pipe insulation, Air Handling Unit EC fan retrofit, LED lighting, and metering to reduce energy consumption and heat loss. An upgraded Building Management Systems (BMS) will also be introduced across the sites.

Last year, the City of London Corporation committed to reaching net-zero across its investments and supply chain by 2040, with an interim ambition to generate net-zero operational emissions by 2027.

The Corporation, which acts as the municipal governing body of the historic centre of London, made the commitments through a new climate action strategy.

The strategy commits the organisation to invest £68m in climate adaptation and mitigation over the next six years – a sum it claims will support the creation of 800 jobs. Of the funding, at least £15m will be spent to improve flood resilience. Pots will also be allocated to renewable energy, low-carbon heating and cooling, energy efficiency and nature-based solutions. On the latter, £2m will be spent on transforming some of the 11,000 acres of parks and open spaces owned by the Corporation to sequester carbon.

City of London Corporation Finance Committee Chairman, Jamie Ingham Clark, said: “This partnership with Vital Energi will enable us to take practical, positive, sustainable steps to make our buildings more energy efficient, delivering the twin benefits of reducing carbon emissions and saving money.

“The project will play a significant role in enabling us to achieve the ambitious targets set out in our Climate Action Strategy, which commits us to achieving net-zero carbon status in our buildings by 2027 and across our investments and supply chain by 2040.”

In related news, Wye Valley NHS Trust has also announced a major retrofit upgrade as a result of the PSDS. The Trust has issued a £4.7m energy upgrade at the Hereford County Hospital site, which is due to be completed this year.

Centrica Business Solutions will provide an array of low-carbon solutions across the Hospital and six other older buildings on the site, including the Education and Development Centre, Post Graduate Medical Centre, Longfield House staff accommodation and Lionel Green building.

Work has commenced on the installation of more than 3,000 low-energy lights, while more than 300 rooftop solar panels, modern switching mechanisms, 1,163 pipework insulation jackets and 263 metres of pipework lagging are to be introduced to improve clean energy generation and reduce heat loss.

A new ground source heat pump network will also be introduced to pump water and convert it into heat across the six buildings.

Wye Valley NHS Trust’s director of strategy and planning Alan Dawson said: “We’re very pleased to receive this grant to enable us to undertake this exciting and significant move forward to help reduce our carbon footprint and improve our environmental sustainability.

 “We have already taken a number of steps to reduce our carbon footprint at our community hospitals and this builds upon that progress. We are committed to reducing the impact our activities have on the environment by introducing these new technologies, which will reduce our carbon emissions at this site by 510 carbon tonnes per year and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels for a greener future.”


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Matt Mace



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