We were successful in securing £3 million of grant funding under the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme; the bid covers four of our top five most energy intensive buildings that we own and occupy, including Broadmeadow Sports Centre and Teignmouth Lido, and Newton Abbot Leisure Centre and Forde House.
As part of the scheme we will install solar PV and energy sub metering at all four sites, whilst gas-fired boilers will be replaced at Newton Abbot Leisure Centre, Teignmouth Lido and Forde House with air source heat pumps.
We are also replacing the sports hall roof at Broadmeadow Sports centre using Section 106 and Committee Infrastructure Levy contributions to reduce heat loss and prepare the building for the potential future installation of an air source heat pump.
The combined measures are anticipated to deliver a carbon reduction of at least 372 tonnes of CO2 in year one of operation, which represents 19% of our direct scope 1 & 2 carbon footprint; the level of carbon reduction will likely increase year-on-year as our supply of electricity from the network decarbonises.
We are working hard to complete the projects in Spring 2022, from which point, Teignmouth Lido will join a small group of open-air pools heated using low carbon energy sources, our leisure members will be able to enjoy improvements to our leisure sites and our staff can look forward to a low carbon working environment.
Our programme to reduce our carbon footprint at the sites will continue after the completion of grant funded works as part of our emerging Carbon Action Plan, and we will continue to find ways to reduce our demand for energy, become more energy efficient, use more renewable energy on site and engage our residents and staff along the journey.
Forde House perhaps required the greatest level of preparation ahead of making the grant application in January 2021. The building was constructed in the 1980's and features high levels of single glazing, and poor air permeability standards. Initially, there were limited records to indicate how the building was constructed and the site doesn’t currently feature any energy sub metering; as such, understanding how the building consumes energy was a significant challenge.
To overcome this issue, we employed energy consultants at UpEnergy to develop a virtual 3D model of the building using dynamic simulation software, which assesses energy loads across the building in ten minute intervals over a full year.
The holistic building model enabled us to assess the impact of a range of fabric improvement options, both in terms of thermal heat loss during the summer and excess heat gains during the summer.
Energy modelling demonstrated with reasonable certainty that a combined scheme of glazing and roof insulation upgrades, ventilation upgrades and replacing gas-fired boilers with air source heat pumps would result in a reduction in energy costs and reduce our carbon footprint at the site by approximately 85 tonnes CO2 in the first year of operation.
The process of developing the thermal model was a time intensive process, but the results were invaluable in making a robust grant application and providing us with certainty in the appropriateness of the overall scheme.