Reducing our energy and emissions

Printer-friendly page

Rising energy costs have become a major driver for change as has the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with local and national targets. As a property owner and a community leader, St Albans City and District Council has an important role to play in reducing our own energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.

Our latest Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report

The Council calculates and reports the greenhouse gas emissions arising from our services and operations every year as required by the Department of Energy and Climate Change. The Council's most recent Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report can be downloaded below.

The latest report shows that we have reduced our total CO2e emissions by 19% since 2008/09. We are on track to reach our target of a 20% reduction by 2020/21.

 SADC Greenhouse Gas Reduction Target

The Council has been working to implement a range of measures to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from our largest buildings. 

At the District Council Offices, we have taken many steps over recent years to reduce our energy consumption. Our solar photovoltaic (PV) panels reduce our demand for electricity from the grid as they produce around 2,000 kwh of energy per year from sunlight. In 2016 and 2017 we replaced all our lighting with LED's which is leading to dramatic savings on our electricity bills and reducing our emissions by around 10 tonnes of CO2e per month. Energy consumption from IT has been reduced by moving from PC's to laptops and changing the layout to give staff greater flexibility in how and where they work. As a result we were able to free up more office space to provide to other parties such as the Police and other voluntary groups.  

Our largest and most energy intensive buildings are our leisure centres. We have opened three new centres since 2012, all of which were built to high environmental standards.

Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre

Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre

We opened the new Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre in November 2012. We heavily integrated sustainability into the design of the building, something which is reflected by it's Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology (BREEAM) rating of 'Very Good'. Our flagship leisure centre then went on to win 'Most Sustainable Construction’ at the Building Futures Awards in November 2013 and the Gold Award in the Community Construction category of the Green Apple Awards 2014.

The features that we incorporated include:

  • Solar PV panels

  • Combined Heat and Power (CHP) providing underfloor heating and electricity

  • Natural ventilation systems which reduce the demand for air conditioning

  • Heat recovery systems in the air handling plant

  • Variable speed drives on fans so that they are only used as needed

  • Use of natural light, movement sensors and energy efficient lighting

  • Pool cover and moving floor, which reduces heat loss from the pool

  • Water from pool sampling is recycled in the toilets, halving water consumption

  • Use of sustainable materials in construction to help minimise the building’s impact on the environment.

Batchwood Sports Centre

We redeveloped Batchwood Sports Centre in 2014. We took a similar approach to integrating sustainability in the design of the building as we did with Westminster Lodge, resulting in the new Batchwood Sports Centre achieving an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of 22 (or 'A'); the same as Westminster Lodge.

Measures we incorporated include energy efficient lighting, recycled construction materials, solar PV panels, low-energy lifts and a natural ‘windcatcher’ ventilation system. 

Cotlandswick Sports Centre

We opened the Cotlandswick Sports Centre in June 2015. The centre has solar photovoltaic panels and achieves an EPC rating of 30 (or 'B'). This is better than the expected energy performance of new buildings (a benchmark rating of 38).

Date of last review: 17 August 2017