'Ambitious' carbon emission reduction project targets community organisations in Wendover

Energy providers have labelled the partnership as ‘unprecedented’

By James Lowson
Thursday, 10th March 2022, 3:15 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th March 2022, 3:16 pm

Popular community organisations in Wendover have formed an ‘unprecedented’ partnership with an energy provider to cut carbon emissions and save costs.

Organisers project that the scheme will save community organisations thousands of pounds and tonnes of carbon emissions.

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The Wharf Road campus in Wendover

A range of renewable energy sources will be built at the participating schools to enable the organisations to become more carbon-friendly.

Funding for the study, which organisers have labelled 'ambitious', came from the Government's Rural Community Energy Fund, Buckinghamshire Community Energy is overseeing the project.

ReEnergise is also involved in the project in a consultancy role.

Currently the following organisations are being assessed for the project by ReEnergise: John Colet School, John Hampden School, Wendover Junior School, Wendover Swimming Pool, Wendover Youth Centre and Wendover Memorial Hall.

Buckinghamshire Community Energy wants to take these organisations off the gas and use alternative renewable energy sources such as a ground source heat pump to provide

heating and hot water.

A study will also investigate the possibility of installing solar panels on as many buildings on the Wharf Road Campus as possible.

A spokesman for the not-for-profit enterprise said: "Collectively these organisations use 570,000 kilowatt hours of electricity and 1,510,000 kWh of gas per year at an

estimated combined annual cost of £143,500 and 398 tonnes of carbon emissions.

"That’s the equivalent of the annual energy consumption of 138 average homes."

Kirsty Shanahan, development director at Buckinghamshire Community Energy, says the project shows the important role publicly-owned buildings have to play in getting to Net Zero.

She said: “On the recommendation of Climate Action Wendover, we chose the Wharf Road Campus area because the site has a lot of energy use within all the buildings, and is absolutely at the heart of the community.

“Saving these organisations money on energy will enable them to spend that money on other things to benefit local people, and will help the whole of Wendover to reduce its carbon footprint significantly.”

As well as financial support from a government scheme, the study has got the blessing of Bucks Council.

Councillor Peter Strachan said: “I very much welcome this work being undertaken here in Wendover. Although the organisations which operate on the site are independent, Buckinghamshire Council remains the freeholder and so we will have an important role in enabling the delivery of a project on the ground.

“It’s fantastic to see communities taking such innovative and proactive approaches in addressing the climate crisis and I am delighted that as a Council we are able to support and enable this particular project.

“This is exactly the kind of project we need in order to help reach our goal of net zero carbon emissions in Buckinghamshire by 2050.

"I look forward to seeing the recommendations from the report and I hope that we will be able to move forward in a positive way.”

The report from the study, due to be completed in late April, will make recommendations for electricity-based heating for all the buildings on the site, as well as energy efficiency measures and solar panels.