A £7.45 million scheme to make Salford’s public buildings more energy efficient has been completed as the city council continues to play its part in combatting the impacts of climate change.
The scheme, in which the council received funding through public body Salix Finance via the government’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, has delivered improvements to 30 public buildings across the city, saving 2,498,663 kwh of energy and 584 tonnes of carbon.
Since 2020, the scheme has delivered a range of measures, including fitting 2,562 solar panels on 21 public buildings, introducing air source heat pump systems to replace previous heating systems on 12 sites and installing battery energy storage systems at four sites which will store excess energy from the solar panels and charge electricity from the grid during cheaper off-peak periods at night to then redistribute this during the day, cutting our energy bills.
The energy that the programme has saved would get you around the world 301 times in an electric car or be able to power a city of 277,629 houses – which would be over double the size of Salford – for a day. The carbon we have saved is the equivalent of the council planting a further 29,200 trees in the city and our solar panels will generate an output of 778,130 kwh of clean energy every year which will be tripled following the construction of our 5,000-panelled solar farm in Little Hulton.
Councillor Mike McCusker, lead member for planning, transport and sustainable development said: “Salford City Council is delivering innovative solutions to make our public estate more sustainable as we work towards our goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2038.
“This scheme will significantly reduce the carbon footprint of a number of key buildings across the estate, including our leisure and sports facilities and children’s homes, which will now be sustainably heated and better equipped to help us build a greener Salford in the coming years.
“However, we know we must do more to address the climate emergency and in addition to our £126 million of investment in our green spaces and walking and cycling routes across the city, our state-of-the-art solar farm will help us turbocharge our ability to generate clean energy in our city.”
Other measures included in the programme include installing a variety of energy-saving tools to our public estate such as LED lighting, insulation, radiator valves, double glazing and metering.
The scheme was made possible after £78 million was secured by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and 15 other partners from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme. The funding was provided to Greater Manchester to support energy efficiency upgrades to 200 buildings across the city region with Salford receiving £7.454 million.
Of the 30 public buildings to be upgraded through the programme, Salford Sports Village in Kersal received the most new measures and is expected to save 46 tonnes of carbon per year.
The measures included: