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: 34,268 MWh (12 monthly rolling data for July 2020 to June 2021)
  • Gas: 22,008 MWh (12 monthly rolling data for July 2020 to June 2021)

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 about £2.5 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 CO2 emissions.

The future of public funding is from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Fund, which we successfully applied for in December 2020. The grant funding has been used for further LED lighting work, window replacements, pipework insulation and other projects to be completed by March 2022.

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 upcoming solar projects will see 700 more panels being installed by December 2021 on:

  • 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.

We have also identified potential for building or purchasing large solar parks to provide us with renewable energy. Solar arrays of this size will contribute significantly to our energy use and our overall reduction in carbon emissions.

Solar array generation to date (June 2021):

BuildingInstallation dateEquivalent CO2e savings* (tonnes)
Worrall HouseSpring 202037.55
Swale Mash (Green Banks)Spring 20208.42

Thanet Mash (Orchards)

Spring 20208.96
Dartford Bridge Community CampusSpring 20206.97
The Swattenden CentreSpring 20209.73
The Eden Centre201328.61
Broadmeadow Care Centre201225.82
Ashford Highways Office201229.65
Invicta House201279.61
Swanscombe Children’s CentrePre-201211.68
Blossoms Children’s CentrePre-201210.75

Our total energy generation from solar on our own buildings is 997,379 kWh, which is the equivalent to a saving of 257.74 tonnes of CO2e. This impact is the same as taking 122 cars off the road for a year!

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.

We have 2 projects in progress to install heat pumps in our buildings. One is a conversion from oil heating at The Swattenden Centre to a ground source heat pump, which is estimated to save 56 tonnes of CO2 every year. The second is a failing biomass boiler conversion to an air source heat pump at the Ashford Highways Depot, which is expected to save 36 tonnes CO2 per year. Both of these projects are due to be completed by March 2022.

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 tCO2e - 25,162.19 (12 monthly rolling data for July 2020 to June 2021).
  • Total tCO2e per FTE - 3.42 (12 monthly rolling data for July 2020 to June 2021).
  • Variance % since baseline (2015) - 44% 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 (2021).

**Data taken from the LASER GHG Report 2021-22 Q1. 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.