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Bedford Borough Council Announced as National Champion for Sustainability

December 10, 2016 6:15 PM
Cllr Charles Royden Solar Panels Allhallows bus station

Cllr Charles Royden with the solar panels at Allhallows

Bedford Borough Council has been announced as National Champion for sustainability at the Public Sector Energy & Sustainability Awards 2016. The award recognises major investment in green energy production including, solar energy, hydro power and biomass.

Mayor of Bedford Borough Dave Hodgson said: "Through targeted investment and a commitment to sustainability we have slashed our carbon emissions and have turned the council into a flagship for green energy and environmental good practice. I would like to congratulate everybody across the council who has helped contribute to this national success."

Borough Hall's heating system has been converted to operate on natural gas rather than oil and a new biomass boiler has been installed on the site, significantly lowering the council's fuel costs and reducing its carbon emissions.

In May 2014, 200 solar panels were installed on the roof of the building in previously unused space. All of the electricity generated is used on site, and is currently saving over 20,000 kilograms of carbon dioxide every year.

When the weather gets warmer the server room at Borough Hall is cooled by four evaporative cooling units. The units use ninety per cent less energy than conventional air cooling systems whilst being cheaper to maintain; and more importantly they are free from ozone-depleting refrigerants, like CFCs.

As well as those in Borough Hall a number of other energy conservation and generation initiatives are now in place across the Borough.

  • The construction of a hydro power facility on the Great Rover Ouse at the Boat Slide Weir; which saves approximately 60 tonnes of CO2 every year.
  • Automatic Meter-Reading Devices (AMRs) have been rolled out across the Borough. Since 2010, 271 electricity and 170 gas Automatic Meter-Reading Devices have been installed across the Borough, allowing the council to monitor and improve energy usage.
  • Telematics system have been installed throughout the council's fleet of vehicles, reducing fuel consumption and improving productivity amongst trucks, road sweepers and parks vehicles.
  • New recycling bins were installed in Bedford town centre in 2010, collecting an average of 85 kilograms of plastic bottles and drink cans per bin in under two months.