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Looking after the environment

To follow any changes to this service, visit the Council Service Updates page.

Information about climate change, display energy certificates, energy performance certificates and energy audits. What can you do to help the environment and different options for renewable fuel?

A change in the state of the climate is known as climate change.

Climate change is on the news, in the newspaper and various websites, but what is it and what it will mean for North Lincolnshire?

It is important to find out what the difference is between weather and climate.

Weather is what you see out of the window. It is the temperature, rain, hail, sleet and snow; this can change from hour to hour and day to day.

Climate change refers to the variation in the earth’s global climate or in regional climates over time. Put simply, our planet is surrounded by a blanket of gasses that keep the surface of the earth warm and able to sustain life.

The gases which make this happen are called “greenhouse gasses”. They are mainly water vapour and carbon dioxide. As humans emit more carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, the greenhouse effect becomes stronger.

This causes the earth’s climate to change unnaturally and will carry on doing so with damaging effects.

How climate change will affect you

Scientific research indicates that climate change may cause more intense and more frequent weather events.

  • Increasing summer temperatures
  • Decrease in summer rainfall leading to droughts, creating pressures on water resources
  • An increase in winter rainfall increasing the risk of river and surface water flooding
  • Sea level rise due to melting ice caps which may cause coastal flooding
  • More frequent and higher intensity storms/high winds.

A gradual increase in temperature also has major implications for ecological systems, rises in sea levels, growing seasons, crop and food supply and animals and their habitats.

Climate change in North Lincolnshire

National Indicator 185 measures the percentage CO2 reduction from local authority operations. This provides the baseline on which to measure improvement.

This indicator is intended to cover the total amount of direct and indirect CO2 emitted.

North Lincolnshire greenhouse gas emissions [PDF, 35Mb]

We also have a carbon management plan for North Lincolnshire.

North Lincolnshire carbon management strategy [PDF, 671Mb]

Information about display energy certificates, energy performance certificates and energy audits.

What the council can do:

We are committed to meeting the objectives and targets set out in the Carbon Management Strategy [PDF, 709Kb], to achieve an overall reduction of 33 per cent in carbon dioxide emissions from our operations.

 

As part of our commitment to energy efficiency we can provide you with a range of services or certificates.

A DEC shows the energy performance of a building based on its actual annual energy consumption and the carbon dioxide emissions that result from that energy use. This is shown as a rating from A to G, where A has the lowest carbon dioxide emissions (best) and G the highest carbon dioxide emissions (worst).

The rating is also shown as a number. A typical building of its type would have a rating of 100. A building with twice the typical carbon dioxide emissions would have a rating of 200 (or G).

A DEC must be accompanied by an advisory report containing recommendations for improvement of the energy performance of the building. The DEC must be renewed every year. The advisory report is valid for seven years.

Much like the multi-coloured sticker on new appliances, EPCs tell you how energy efficient a building is and give it a rating from A (very efficient) to G (inefficient). They let the person who will use the building know how costly it will be to heat and light, and what its carbon dioxide emissions are likely to be.

The EPC will also state what the energy efficiency rating could be if improvements are made, and highlights cost-effective ways to achieve a better rating. Even if you rent your home, some improvements noted on the EPC might be worth your while – such as switching to more energy-efficient light bulbs.

Once produced, EPCs are valid for ten years.

Your energy audit will show you which improvements can be made to save energy and water consumption, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and save money on utility bills.

You will be provided with an Audit Report, which will cover areas from the audit for example – lighting, heating, insulation, energy and water saving advice, improvements to the fabric of the building to reduce energy costs.

We are required by Government to provide a report of greenhouse gas emissions from our own estate and operations. The information is published in the format requested by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). The DECC requirement covers both carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. It reports in carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) values.

DECC no longer ask for data to be submitted to central Government. Instead, each local authority (LA) must publish greenhouse gas reports online by the end of July each year.

Annual reporting of greenhouse gas emissions does not have direct implications for carbon reduction. However, reporting of environmental performance indicators is normally associated with best practice and ensures that the council demonstrates its active pursuit of environmental goals and corporate objectives.

Annual greenhouse gas emissions reporting also has relevance to Environmental Management (ISO14001) accreditation. Copies of the reports may be presented as evidence for the annual independent assessment.

Download our greenhouse gas emissions report [PDF, 34Kb].

 

What can you do?

  • Don’t leave appliances on standby – almost £1 billion worth of electricity is wasted in the UK every year by appliances left on standby.
  • Install LED bulbs or energy saving bulbs – with an average life of 20,000 hours, LED light bulbs and energy saving light bulbs can last up to 12 times longer than ordinary bulbs.
  • Only boil as much water as you need – if we all only put the amount of water we need in the kettle, we would save enough electricity to power two thirds of the street lighting in the UK.
  • Insulate your loft – installing a standard 270 millimetres layer of insulation to your loft could save you as much as £180 to £220 a year on your fuel bills.
  • Install cavity wall insulation – about one third of the heat in the home is lost through the walls, adding between £130 and £160 to your annual heating bills. If every person in the UK installed cavity wall insulation, we would save more than £962 million worth of energy.
  • Upgrade your boiler – upgrading your old boiler and having it serviced annually could save you up to a third on your heating bills.
  • Buy energy saving recommended appliances – some new appliances are recommended for energy saving and drastically cut the amount of energy used. For example a new energy saving refrigerator could save nearly half a tonne of carbon dioxide per year.
  • Turn your thermostat down by 1˚C – turning down the thermostat in your home by just one degree could cut your heating bills by up to eight per cent and save about £40 per year on your heating bills.
  • Wash your laundry at 30˚C – turning down the temperate you wash your clothes at will use less energy. Washing at 30˚C will use 40 per cent less electricity than a wash at 40˚C.
  • Don’t use the car for short journeys and keep it well maintained – try not to use your car if you’re only going on a short journey. Not only will it help keep you fit, you will reduce your carbon dioxide emission, air pollution and the amount of fuel you use. Keeping your car well maintained means it is also more efficient, saving you money on fuel.

Renewable energy

We want to help you do your bit to reduce energy consumption and climate change. The use of renewable and low carbon technologies will help you save energy and money in your own home.

Renewable energy is energy generated from sources that are inexhaustible, unlike fossil fuels. These sources, such as wind, sun and biomass, produce much lower levels of carbon dioxide emissions and other green house gases.

In addition to reducing your carbon footprint there are other benefits to using renewable energy:

  • Most renewable energy technologies save you money over time. As time goes on renewable energy becomes cheaper while the price of fossil fuel is rising.
  • Generating your own electricity gives you the security of supply. With some systems, as long as the wind is blowing or the sun is shining, you are guaranteed to have a certain amount of energy available in your home.

Overview

These systems, which are often seen as solar panels or solar roof tiles, use energy from sunlight to generate electricity which can be used to run appliances and lighting.

The greater the intensity of light, the greater the generation of electricity.

Panels are not light and installation will be subject to the strength of your roof. These systems are best suited for a building with a south, south east or south west facing wall or roof and with minimal shading. Systems must be MCS (Microgeneration Certificate Scheme) approved and be fitted by experienced MCS accredited installers.

Cost and maintenance

A typical domestic system is around 2.2 kilowatt-peak units in size and would produce over 40 percent of the electricity needed for a domestic home. A 2.2 kilowatt-peak unit system would cost around £6,000. Solar tiles are more expensive than conventional panels. Once installed there are no running costs, but the inverter may need replacing after eight to 10 years.

Financial help

This system is eligible for the Feed In Tariff.

Planning permission

You may need planning permission. Please view our planning pages for more information.

Wind turbines are used to harness the wind’s energy by turning aerodynamic blades that turn a rotator to create electricity.

Small scale wind turbines that can be installed on roofs are now available to buy for home use. A typical domestic system would be between 2.5 and six kilowatts.

Relatively minor increases in wind speed result in large changes in potential output. The best sites have an annual wind speed of at least five meters per second.

Knowledge of local wind speed is critical. For more information, visit the British Wind Energy Association website.

Cost and maintenance

Systems up to one kilowatt can cost up to £3,000. Turbines can have a life span of 20 years, but need regular servicing.

Financial help

This system is eligible for the Feed In Tariff.

Planning permission

You may need planning permission. Please view our planning pages for more information.

Micro combined heat and power technology generates heat and electricity at the same time from a single source for individual homes.

A typical system could produce up to one kilowatt-hour. There are many system variations to suit individual homes and energy consumption.

The cost and maintenance of a system will be around £5,500 and can be installed to replace a conventional boiler with service and maintenance costs thought to be similar to those of a conventional boiler.

Financial help

This system is eligible for the Feed In Tariff.

Planning permission

Planning permission for a flue may not be required, but there some exceptions. Please view our planning pages for more information.

Contact

carbon@northlincs.gov.uk

The Energy Team
Church Square House
Church Square
Scunthorpe
DN15 6NL

Customer contact centre

01724 297000