4.1 Energy

Energy consumption accounts for almost two thirds of carbon emissions in Wychavon.  Industry and commerce are responsible for 37% of the district’s emissions and 27% come from homes.

In 2017, industry and commerce consumed 100,700 tonnes of oil equivalent (ktoe) and the domestic sector consumed 79,300 ktoe. There was a notable decline in energy consumption between 2006 and 2009.  After levelling off in the early to middle part of the past decade, levels of energy consumption gradually started to rise in the second half of the decade.

The steady decrease in carbon emissions from energy consumption mentioned earlier in the plan is primarily down to decarbonisation of the National Grid and the growth in renewables rather than a reduction in energy use.

While gas currently makes up a significant proportion of the energy consumed in Wychavon, there is still a relatively high proportion of energy users in both domestic and non-domestic situations that utilise expensive and high carbon fuels such as coal, oil and liquified petroleum gas.

Rural parts of the district off the gas network are more likely to have higher proportions of fuel poor households. In 2018, an estimated 5,416 of Wychavon households (10.3%) were fuel poor.  This is above the Worcestershire average of 9.9%.  To help lift households out of fuel poverty and cut carbon emissions we need to focus efforts on both improving energy efficiency standards and encouraging low carbon alternatives to oil and solid fuel heating systems, including heat pumps, bio-gas or hybrid systems.

Levels of renewable generation in the district have increased substantially in the last ten years, with 240,542 MWh generated in Wychavon in 2018. There are also additional energy generation resources within the district from sources including solar, wind and geothermal energy.  If these are to be realised constraints on the electricity network for the connection of new large-scale demand or generation will need to be overcome.

We have already:

  • Reduced energy consumption at the Civic Centre.
  • Installed 42 solar photovoltaic panels on the Civic Centre.
  • Invested £300,000 in the Pershore hydroelectric power scheme, which provides energy to the nearby leisure centre.
  • Invested £52,000 to install solar panels on seven of our public toilets.
  • Carried out a thermal image survey of the county to highlight heat loss from properties through the Warmer Worcestershire project.
  • Delivered a wide range of energy efficiency schemes in partnership with Act on Energy including loft and cavity insulation, thermostatic radiator valves, draught proofing, water tank jackets, new boilers, energy advice surgeries and campaigns.
  • Delivered 262 solid wall installations under the Green Deal Communities project.
  • With Rooftop installed photovoltaic panels on 23 properties in Badsey.
  • Supported Rooftop Housing to build the first Code for Sustainable Homes Level 6 development in the district.
  • Led a ground-breaking study into heat use across Worcestershire.

We will:

  • Reduce energy consumption in all our buildings through active energy monitoring and reporting, energy champions and switch it off campaigns.
  • Switch to purchasing green electricity for all our buildings when our current energy contracts expire in 2021, and explore whether green gas is a sustainable and viable option for meeting our other energy demands.
  • Investigate and implement measures to significantly reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions generated by our three leisure centres and the lido.
  • Consider measures to reduce the carbon impact of our other buildings and investigate the costs and viability of making each of our buildings carbon neutral.
  • Seek to minimise the carbon impact of investment projects involving new build and refurbishment of existing buildings while maintaining viability and delivering wider community and economic benefits.
  • Invest £100,000 over four years to promote the growth of the low carbon economy in Wychavon, including increasing our investment in the Low Carbon Opportunities Programme and apprenticeship grants to businesses working in green technologies.
  • Work with partners to help householders install energy efficiency measures and renewable technologies through initiatives such as the new Green Homes Grant.
  • Facilitate a domestic bulk solar PV buying scheme.
  • Work with social housing providers to deliver carbon neutral housing schemes.
  • Run targeted energy efficiency awareness campaigns aimed at residents.
  • Promote development of further renewable energy schemes in the district including solar PV and geothermal.
  • Consider the development of a biofuel or low carbon oil buying club.
  • Lobby power distributors and OFGEM to upgrade distribution networks and increase capacity for renewables.
  • Lobby the Government to provide Council Tax or other incentives to drive take-up of home energy efficiency measures.