Wakefield Council has recently made a significant investment of £2.66 million towards the installation of green energy systems in three of its public buildings. Airedale Library and Children’s Centre, Stanley Library and Community Centre, and Normanton Swimming Pool are set to benefit from reliable and low-carbon heating, hot water, and electricity, leading to improved energy efficiency.

This venture was made possible through a successful bid by the Council to the Government’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS). In October 2022, the PSDS granted just over £1 million towards the project. Furthermore, the Council provided match funding to ensure the implementation of these sustainable initiatives.

Normanton Pool has already undergone the installation of an Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP) and solar panels. Additional upgrades, including the fitting of LED lighting, new pool filtration equipment, and various repairs and refurbishments, are also scheduled to take place. Similarly, Airedale Library and Children’s Centre have replaced old boilers with ASHPs, with LED lights being fitted as well. Stanley Library and Community Centre have exchanged their failing boiler for an ASHP, and further improvements such as the installation of solar panels on the new roof, LED lights, and enhanced insulation are imminent.

Moreover, all three sites have embraced energy efficiency by installing new energy-efficient radiators. ASHPs are innovative systems that harness heat from the external environment, providing low-carbon heating and hot water as a greener alternative to traditional gas boilers. The implementation of ASHPs across the three buildings is estimated to save approximately 2,700 tonnes of carbon dioxide over their projected 20-year lifespan.

Wakefield Council has been committed to addressing climate change, evident through the publication of its Climate Change Action Plan in 2020. The Council has set an ambitious goal of becoming a net zero organisation by 2030, and these recent investments in green energy systems align with their long-term objectives.

Cllr Jack Hemingway, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change, expressed his delight at the utilisation of these low-carbon technologies in public buildings. He commended the Council’s teams for their swift action following the receipt of funding, emphasising the responsibility to reduce carbon emissions from buildings. Hemingway highlighted that achieving their net zero Council target by 2030 necessitates such sustainable initiatives. He further mentioned the financial challenges faced by the Council, particularly in relation to rising energy bills. Hemingway expressed hope that the integration of renewable technologies will alleviate this concern for libraries and leisure centres in the future.

With Wakefield Council’s proactive approach to combating climate change, these investments in green energy systems demonstrate a significant stride towards a sustainable and environmentally responsible future for the region.