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: 33,477 MWh (12 monthly rolling data for October 2021 to September 2022)
  • Gas: 19,679 MWh (12 monthly rolling data for October 2021 to September 2022)

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.

We were awarded just over £20 million of grant funding from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Fund in February 2021. The grant funding has been used for further LED lighting work, window replacements, pipework insulation and other projects.

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 CO2 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 CO2 per year.

Solar array generation to date (October 2022):

BuildingGeneration to date (KWh)Equivalent CO2e savings* (tonnes)
Worrall House327,13769.46
Swale Mash (Green Banks)101,85821.63

Thanet Mash (Orchards)

Dartford Bridge Community Campus105,96222.5
The Swattenden Centre57,43212.19
The Eden Centre153,337 (up to August 2022)32.56 (up to August 2022)
Broadmeadow Care Centre121,621 (up to December 2021)25.82 (up to December 2021)
Ashford Highways Office155,93333.11
Invicta House440,74793.58
Swanscombe Children’s Centre65,277 (up to August 2022)13.86 (up to August 2022)
Blossoms Children’s Centre115,260 (up to August 2022)24.47 (up to August 2022)
Brook House82,39117.49
The Rainbow Centre44,6609.48
Kent Scientific Services171,35636.38

Our total energy generation from solar on our own buildings is 2,103,450 kWh, which is the equivalent to a saving of 447.44 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.

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 CO2 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 CO2 per year.
  • We installed a ground source heat pump at Oakwood House which is saving 43 tonnes of CO2 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 tCO2e - 15,324 (12 monthly rolling data for October 2021 to September 2022).
  • Variance % since baseline (2019) - 34% 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 (2022).

**Data taken from the LASER GHG Report 2022-23 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.