London Development Agency
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Major expansion of innovative scheme to cut carbon from public buildings

Leading organisations in London and UK are first to sign up.

Hospitals, colleges and councils will be helped to cut energy use and save millions off their fuel bills under a major expansion of a climate change programme announced today by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. Just days before the start of the Copenhagen climate change summit, the Mayor visited a London fire station in Ilford, one of 42 buildings in the GLA family to have benefited from a green makeover started earlier this year.

Ilford fire station's energy overhaul has enabled it to slash more than 40 per cent of its carbon emissions. A further nine fire stations, 10 Metropolitan Police Service and 22 Transport for London buildings have between them achieved on average a 27 per cent reduction in carbon emissions and have saved £1 million off the annual fuel bills of London. The Mayor has pledged another 58 Greater London Authority Group buildings will follow.

With the support of the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) - part of the William J Clinton Foundation - London is the first city in the world to have launched a framework of approved energy service companies, which cuts through red tape by creating a clever financial model enabling public sector organisations to retrofit their buildings with energy efficiency measures more easily.

The London Development Agency-led scheme is now set to be adopted by Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, Barking and Dagenham Council and University College London. NHS London has expressed support for the scheme and will be working with the London Development Agency to allow NHS organisations across the capital to benefit from the framework. It is estimated if all the public sector buildings in London used this model, they could save around £500million off bills and the model can be replicated across the UK.

Eight per cent of London’s carbon emissions – 3.5 million tonnes annually - come from public sector buildings, so there is huge potential for delivering massive cuts through this programme.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said:

"As expectant eyes around the globe turn to Copenhagen to see whether world leaders will take action on climate change, here in London we are making a difference right now. 

"Cutting energy consumption in public buildings may not sound glamorous, but it could help us save the world from the threat of irreversible climate change. With a third of carbon emissions coming from our buildings, giving them a green makeover, is supremely good for the planet and for the public purse.

"‘This innovative financing and procurement model has cut out all the time delays and hassles for public sector organisations. We have tested it on our own fire stations, police stations and Transport for London buildings, so we know it delivers the goods in cutting carbon but also in making substantial cost savings and stimulating the demand for low carbon skills and technologies. We are willing and ready to share our solution with the rest of the UK and other world cities attempting to tread the same path and I am thrilled to see a clutch of foresighted organisations have already done so."

President Clinton said:

"Buildings contribute a significant portion of the carbon emissions released by the world’s largest cities. I am pleased the Clinton Climate Initiative has been working with London to expand its building retrofit programme, which will reduce the city’s emissions and energy costs. London’s leadership is showing what can be done to protect our planet and create jobs in cities around the world."

Peter Bishop, London Development Agency Group Director for Design, Development and Environment, said:

"We need to act to mitigate the impact of climate change.  By investing in the energy efficiency of London's public sector buildings, the London Development Agency will help get major reductions in London’s carbon dioxide emissions. As this programme grows across the capital, it will make a measurable difference on climate change."

Brian Coleman, Assembly Member, FRSA, Chairman of London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, said:

"This project is a good example of the work London Fire Brigade is doing to cut carbon emissions, and Ilford is the first station to benefit from this programme and another nine are nearing completion. This Authority has approved for another 20 to be part of this scheme which enhances the Brigade's commitment to the Mayor's green vision. The fire service may be best known for helping Londoners in an emergency, but the range of sustainability projects we are involved in is another important way we can protect our city."

The framework is available for use by any public sector organisation in the UK. The University of Cambridge and the Core Cities group (Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield) have today signed up to benefit from the same deal.  The Higher Education Funding Council for England is also pleased that the scheme has been made available to universities, with a number already expressing an interest. In addition, the South East England Development Agency will be introducing the programme to local authorities across the South East region. For London-based public sector organisations, the London Development Agency will provide support in the use of the framework. The programme is cost-neutral for organisations as the money recouped through guaranteed energy cost savings over a set period which will fund the investment in improvements.

The Mayor has a target to cut London's carbon emissions by 60 per cent by 2025, and is implementing a raft of programmes to combat climate change and improve Londoners' quality of life. These include:

  • the launch of a public bike hire scheme and cycle superhighways in 2010;
  • a programme to help at least 200,000 homes get a free carbon makeover by 2012;
  • converting London's bus fleet to hybrid; and
  • a comprehensive plan to support the mainstream introduction of electric vehicles in the capital.

The CCI - the action arm of the C40 association of large cities around the world that have pledged to accelerate their efforts to reduce carbon emissions - has assisted London in establishing the building retrofit programme and signing up organisations to the framework.


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