Sector - Local Government

Half a Billion for public buildings to switch to cleaner heating

More public buildings and businesses will benefit from over half a billion pounds in funding to help reduce their energy bills and carbon emissions.

Schools, pools, and hospitals will be supported to make energy efficient upgrades, with over £557M government investment. The new projects will help reduce emissions and cut bills, as part of the government’s plan to reach its world-leading net zero targets in a sustainable, pragmatic way.

Heat pumps, solar panels, insulation and low-energy lighting will be rolled out to reduce the use of fossil fuels across the public sector and strengthen the UK’s energy independence, helping save taxpayers hundreds of millions of pounds.

This follows significant progress already made towards reaching net zero – with the UK becoming the first major economy to halve emissions. Decarbonising the public sector is expected to save an estimated £650M per year on average to 2037.

Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance Lord Callanan said: “From school corridors to the businesses that power up our economy, we want to make sure buildings of all shapes and sizes are supported to deliver net zero.

“By allocating over £557M, we are standing steadfast behind our public sector and local businesses, providing the help they need to make the switch to cleaner, homegrown energy.

“This will not only help cut bills in the long term, but ensure we keep reducing our emissions – having already led the world by halving them since 1990.”

Over 1,000 projects have now received funding since 2020 to upgrade thousands of buildings through the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme. New projects receiving funding in this phase include:

  • Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust has been awarded over £21M to decarbonise three buildings by installing new heat pumps alongside other measures including wall, loft and roof insulation, double glazing and LED lighting
  • Loughborough University has been awarded over £2M to decarbonise their Olympic size swimming pool by replacing old gas-fired boilers with more efficient, cleaner heat pumps
  • Surrey County Council has been awarded over £5M to cut emissions across 19 sites including six libraries, four nursing homes, two community centres, Guildford Fire Station, five schools and the council’s own headquarters in Reigate

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