Council leads by example with plan to reduce headquarters’ emissions

09th June 2022


An ambitious plan to retrofit the headquarters of Three Rivers District Council is set to reduce its emissions by 70%, the council has announced.

The council has received a grant of £375,493 through the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) as part of its Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS), delivered by Salix Finance. The scheme aims to put the public sector at the forefront of decarbonising buildings across the UK.

The council now plans to revamp Three Rivers House, in Rickmansworth, with improvements including an air source heat pump for heating and hot water, cavity wall insulation, new double glazing and an improved ventilation system.

This means there will be an energy saving of 335,170 kilowatt hours (the measure of how much energy is used per hour) plus a cost saving of £15,000 per annum (based on figures from July last year).

Cllr Sarah Nelmes, the Leader of Three Rivers District Council, said: “Climate change is the greatest challenge of our time. It threatens our children’s health, our way of life and all our futures. That’s why we as a council are committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2030 for our own emissions and by 2045 for the district. And as a council we need to lead by example. So I am delighted that we have secured this funding to make vital changes to our own headquarters. This project alone will reduce our overall emissions by 6%. It is a huge challenge, but we are looking at every opportunity to reduce emissions in the most cost effective way.”

Programme Co-ordinator Nadim El Bakri from Salix said: “We are delighted to be working with Three Rivers District Council on their ambitious plans to tackle carbon emissions.”

Salix Client Support Officer Lauren Golley added: “It is a huge challenge and we are very pleased to be on the decarbonisation journey with the council.”

The government is spending £2.5billion on the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme between 2020 and 2025. Hospitals, schools, libraries, museums and leisure centres are among hundreds of public buildings across England that will cut fossil fuel use and save on bills thanks to the funding for low carbon heating and energy efficiency upgrades.

Three Rivers House was constructed in the late 1980s and the council has already implemented many energy efficiency measures, including a ground source heat pump which is used to heat the main council chamber. Meanwhile most lights are energy efficient LED with sensors that switch off where no movement is detected and hot water taps are low flow. The pitched roof contains 37 solar panels which helps provide energy for the building.