Waltham Forest Council supports £2.4m in carbon reduction and energy efficiency upgrades

Waltham Forest Council is on track to significantly reduce its carbon emissions after investing in a range of energy efficiency measures across the borough.

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With ambitions to be the greenest borough in London, the Council has invested more than £2.4 milion in energy efficiency improvements over the last decade. These improvements have helped the council to reduce its carbon emissions by 2,721 tonnes of CO2 a year from corporate assets equivalent to taking over 530 cars off the streets of Waltham Forest per annum. The financial savings- an estimated £525,645 annually- generated from the improved energy efficiency will help off-set future possible increases in wholesale energy costs.

The energy reduction projects carried out by the council have an average pay-back of around 3.8 years and will be repaid from savings made on energy bills. Over a 10-year life-cycle the Council expects to save £5,250,000 in reduced energy costs and generate a CO2 savings of 27,000 tonnes of CO2 – equivalent to removing over 5,300 cars from the borough’s roads.

Councillor Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader and Lead Member for Environment at Waltham Forest Council said: “Waltham Forest already has a strong record of achievement and we are determined to continue this as we work with our partners and increasingly our residents to tackle the growing climate emergency. Salix’s Recycling Fund has provided us with an unprecedented opportunity to work towards this ambition and to deliver huge CO2 savings.  

"The fund has enabled us to invest in a range of energy efficiency projects, which have improved the quality of our buildings and street lighting, while simultaneously tackling the decarbonisation challenge.

Going forward, we’re looking to reflect on the outcomes and recommendations from our Climate Emergency Commission to help us shape and support our own, our partners and resident’s response around the installation and development of additional low and zero carbon technologies across the borough to realise further significant CO2 savings.”

So far investments in more than 30 energy reduction projects have included:
▪ Boiler upgrade in Waltham Forest Town Hall resulting in c33% energy consumption savings
▪ LED lighting and controls installations at Walthamstow Assembly Hall, Civic car parks, Adult Learning Centre and the refurbished Magistrates building delivering c52% energy consumption savings
▪ Building and plantroom insulation, including the Town Hall, delivering c10% energy consumption savings
▪ New ICT server virtualisation, voltage optimisation and network switch replacement generating c67% energy consumption savings
▪ Street lighting upgrades in Leyton and Leytonstone reducing energy consumption by c47%
▪ LED lighting upgrades at six maintained community schools generating energy consumption savings of c60%

The measures were made possible thanks to funding from Salix Finance – an independent, government funded organisation that provides interest-free financing to the public sector for energy efficiency projects. 

The council’s technology upgrades have been financed through the Salix Recycling Fund Model* which is a long-term, ring-fenced fund held by the public body where financial savings are reinvested by the council year-on-year to fund further energy efficiency projects. Waltham Forest’s initial £800k fund, formed through a 50:50 match funded contribution from Salix and the council, has been recycled over 2.5 times, supporting around £2.4 million of energy efficiency projects.

The next phase of Low and Zero Carbon (LZC) technologies to be adopted is Solar PV installation with plans being developed for battery storage on corporate and school’s assets, street lighting LED upgrade and improving heating and lighting in existing buildings.  

Beth Williams, Programme Manager at Salix said: “We have worked closely with the London Borough of Waltham Forest since 2010 to reduce its energy costs and carbon emissions. Using our recycling fund model, the council has been able to deliver 33 energy efficiency projects resulting in huge financial savings and environmental benefits.

“Due to the reusable nature of the fund, the council is able to continually work on energy upgrades, enabling it to commit to developing long-term improvement works across the borough.”