Nearly £250k was pledged to deliver the Council’s climate change objectives and energy management plans at a meeting of the Executive last night.

Most of the sum (£217,000) will be match funded by Salix Finance, a company providing government funding to the public sector to improve energy efficiency, reduce carbon emissions and lower energy bills. The remainder (£25,000) will cover officer support, giving a total of £459,000 to spend on projects.

On 23 July the Council declared a climate emergency. It confirmed its commitment to collaborating with partners to achieve a net zero carbon emissions target goal by 2030, working towards a carbon free borough and establishing a local Climate Change Partnership. It also vowed to support local initiatives such as Plastic Free Guildford.

James Whiteman, Managing Director said: ‘Since 2007 we’ve invested over £8 million on energy saving projects including insulation, boiler replacements, LED lighting in all car parks, air source heat pumps and solar PV panels.

He adds: ‘We lead by example on protecting our environment and our borough. The investment agreed last night is testament to this. With the match funding from Salix we’ll have nearly half a million pounds to spend on energy projects over the next year. They include developing better Co2 emission analysis, generating income from Renewable Energy Feed-in tariffs (FITS) and Renewable Heat Incentives (RHI) claims, promoting Passivhaus standards for new build homes, plus greener travel through the Easit network scheme.’

The Council launched a Climate Change and Innovation Board (CCIB) this year to develop an overall strategy for the reduction of carbon emissions within the Council and the borough. Its key priorities are:

• Buildings and Planning
• Transport
• Trees and green spaces
• Waste
• Energy
• Procurement

The CCIB will drive how we can all make living working and visiting Guildford more environmentally sustainable together. For the first time representatives from key external partners have been invited to join the group, including a professor of innovation and sustainability from University of Surrey and members from the Guildford Environmental Forum.