Our climate emergency performance

We monitor our use of energy to understand where we can be more efficient and reduce our carbon emissions. A full performance report is produced quarterly and there is a snapshot of our current performance below.

Energy consumption

  • Electricity: 33,731 MWh (12 monthly rolling data for October 2022 to September 2023)
  • Gas: 19,192 MWh (12 monthly rolling data for October 2022 to September 2023)

This data is for the Kent County Council (KCC) corporate estate that includes:

  • street lighting
  • highways assets
  • signals and displays
  • KCC buildings
  • Commercial Services
  • traded companies.

We do not purchase energy using a green energy tariff, as we prefer to invest directly in renewable energy projects within Kent.

Energy efficiency

Using the Salix loan funding that was previously available to local authorities we have completed 89 energy efficiency projects including LED lighting and sensors, boiler conversions, building management systems and draught proofing. These loans allowed us to carry out approximately £3 million worth of projects in our own buildings and with local schools.

We have also carried out an extensive LED lighting replacement for our street lighting. In December 2015, we converted almost 120,000 streetlights and signs to LED, which reduced our energy consumption by 29,014,000 kWh and saved 18,563 tonnes of CO2e* emissions.

We were awarded just over £20 million of grant funding from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Fund in February 2021 and have recently been successful in a further round of the grant funding where we will receive £1.8 million. The grant funding has been used for further heat pump installations, LED lighting, window replacements, pipework insulation and solar PV installations

*(CO2e stands for carbon dioxide equivalent. It is the standard measurement of greenhouse gases in terms of the most common greenhouse gas- carbon dioxide)

Energy generation

We have come a long way since our very first solar panel installation at Hever Primary School in 2007. We completed 26 more projects in the first 3 years after this and installed approximately 2,300 solar panels on our own buildings and in local schools between 2010 and 2020.

Our recent solar projects included the installation of nearly 700 more panels which were installed in 2021 at the following locations:

  • Brook House, Whitstable
  • The Rainbow Centre, Ashford
  • Swanley Link/Gateway
  • Kent Scientific Services, Kings Hill
  • The Sunrise Centre, Tunbridge Wells
  • St Peter’s House, Broadstairs
  • Herne Bay High School.

These solar panels are saving nearly 65 tonnes of CO2e* per year.

We have also purchased a solar farm which has capacity for 39,312 solar panels and is providing 22,000 megawatt hours of green electricity to the grid per year. This is saving 43 tonnes of CO2e* per year.

Solar array generation to date :

BuildingGeneration to date (KWh)Equivalent CO2e savings* (tonnes)
Worrall House366,26577.77
Swale Mash (Green Banks)106,44322.60

Thanet Mash (Orchards)

Dartford Bridge Community Campus124,36926.41
The Swattenden Centre57,43212.19
The Eden Centre159,220 (up to March 2023)33.81 (up to March 2023)
Broadmeadow Care Centre121,621 (up to December 2021)25.82 (up to December 2021)
Ashford Highways Office155,93333.11
Invicta House452,81396.15
Swanscombe Children’s Centre67,332 (up to February 2023)14.30 (up to February 2023)
Blossoms Children’s Centre58,855 (up to March 2023)12.50 (up to March 2023)
Brook House110,42723.44
The Rainbow Centre57,28612.20
Kent Scientific Services205,06543.54
Swanley Link3031.350.64
The Sunrise Centre431.330.09

Our total energy generation from solar on our own buildings is 2,242,214 kWh, which is the equivalent to a saving of 476 tonnes of CO2e. This impact is the same as planting  26,233 trees*!

*this data can be found on the monitoring platform environmental benefits calculation document.

Heat decarbonisation

The decarbonisation of heat requires a rapid change from fossil fuel reliant heating systems, such as oil and gas, to renewable energy heat systems. The favoured technology is heat pumps, which can be ground source, air source or water source. We have set ourselves a target of converting at least 50% of our fossil fuel boilers to heat pumps by 2030 and are looking to end all reliance on oil fired heating by 2025.

Using our Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme funding, we installed heat pumps in 3 of our buildings.

  • We converted the oil heating at The Swattenden Centre to a ground source heat pump which is saving 16 tonnes of CO2e* every year.
  • A failing biomass boiler was converted to an air source heat pump at the Ashford Highways Depot which is expected to save 3 tonnes CO2e** per year.
  • We installed a ground source heat pump at Oakwood House which is saving 43 tonnes of CO2e* per year.

Total emissions***

We try to keep this information up to date, however due to reporting timescales, this data may differ from the latest quarterly performance report.

  • Total tonnes of CO2e 11.773 (12 monthly rolling data for October 2022 to September 2023).
  • Total tonnes of CO2e per FTE 1.55 (12 monthly rolling data for October 2022 to September 2023).
  • Variance % since baseline (2019) - 49% reduction (based on Kent County Council (KCC) action only, excludes decarbonisation of grid supplied energy).

**This is an approximation of CO2e emissions, using the government conversion factors for electricity (2023).

***Data taken from the LASER GHG Report 2023-24 Q2. Includes street lighting, highways assets, signals and displays, Commercial Services, traded companies and KCC buildings including leased buildings, fleet vehicles and KCC business mileage. Emissions calculated using data for electricity, gas, heating fuels, fleet fuels and business mileage.