As the Covid second wave grips the UK, we seek solutions to getting the efficiency economy back on track.
Covid Wave 2
At the time of writing, various parts of the UK are once again facing various lockdown restrictions, with massive implications for both individuals, those working in the low carbon sector and the economy as a whole.
Discontent appears to be growing as the delineation between ‘Live without fear’ from Chancellor Rishi Sunak and PM Boris Johnson – who would “not hesitate” to impose further restrictions if needed, seems to widen.
Much is at stake as the economy faces more inestimably challenging barriers. Energys wishes well to all businesses, and to our customers negotiating these vastly difficult times.
Act now to access £3bn total to upgrade the nation’s buildings
Amid Covid, hope remains. In the last week, the Government has announced more detail around £1bn of cash which will be channelled into boosting the energy efficiency of public buildings, including schools and hospitals, through a new fund which comes as part of an overall £3bn green UK efficiency upgrade plan.
The cash – which will be administered through Salix Finance – will help an array of public sector organisations in England, including central government departments, agencies, local authorities, schools and NHS Trusts, to install energy efficiency and low carbon heating measures, reducing energy bills and carbon emissions.
“Energys specialises in the kind of tech required to achieve these telling decarbonisation efforts across the public sector,” comments Kevin Cox, Managing Director, Energys Group. “This is a massive opportunity to access virtually free money from central Government for energy upgrade projects.
“As an approved supplier under the NHS’s Essentia Framework we have delivered large scale energy efficiency upgrades to literally hundreds of schools, colleges and civic buildings over the last 15 years.
“We are absolutely delighted to see this money earmarked for ramping the pace of energy efficiency. But the public sector really must ACT NOW to make the most of this. Now, more than ever we can join together to support the Government in its aims to deliver Net Zero public buildings and a burgeoning new green economy – and these measures will help.”
Business and Energy Secretary Alok Sharma said: “Our plan to upgrade the nation’s buildings and help build back better is good news for jobs, the environment and people’s back pockets, as we reduce emissions and help cut energy bills.”
EDIE writes that The Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS) is open to central government departments, local authorities and other public-sector organisations including NHS Foundation Trusts. It will provide grant funding for projects that are verified to improve energy efficiency and decarbonise heat. The amount granted will be assessed on a case-by-case basis by Salix finance.
National Grid goes Scope 3
In an important move to help lead on identifying energy efficiency and cost reduction opportunities in the supply chain, National Grid has set out a new commitment to reduce its Scope 3 greenhouse (GHG) gas emissions by 20% before 2030, writes Future Net Zero.
The system operator for the UK’s electricity and gas grid has also pledged to reduce Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 80% by 2030, 90% by 2040 and become net zero by 2050 from a 1990 baseline.
John Pettigrew, CEO at National Grid, said: “We share the belief that business needs to stand for something more than profitability.
“Now, more than ever, we have a responsibility to demonstrate our contribution to society more broadly, whether that’s by giving young people today the opportunities to become the problem solvers of tomorrow, or in tackling climate change by reducing our own emissions and helping our customers use energy more efficiently.”
In stunning news, Business Green reports the NHS took a major step into the decarbonised future, announcing a multi-year plan to become the world’s first Net Zero national health system.
The NHS has adopted two targets: for emissions under its direct control to reach net zero by 2040, with an interim reduction target of 80 per cent by 2028-32; and for its wider supply chain footprint to reach net zero by 2045, with an 80 per cent reduction target set between 2036 and 2039.
NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens told The Telegraph: “2020 has been dominated by Covid-19 and it is the most pressing health emergency facing us.
“But undoubtedly climate change poses the most profound long-term threat to the health of the nation. It is not enough for the NHS to treat the problems caused by air pollution and climate change – from asthma to heart attacks and strokes – we need to play our part in tackling them at source.”
Kevin Cox echoed Mr Stevens’ words: “The NHS is leading the race to low carbon. It is apt that from now, and into the future, we view climate challenges and our health with a symbiotic, enlightened approach to stabilising everyone’s future prosperity. We stand ready to work with the NHS to help its Estates Teams achieve its aims.”