Headlines: November 11th, 2009

The Environment Agency has signed a new deal designed to cut its electricity use and reduce its carbon emissions by about 12 per cent a year. From April 2010 large businesses and public sector organisations will have to sign up to cutting their emissions and the Agency says they should see this as a chance to make savings.

It has signed a contract with PowerPerfector to install Voltage Power Optimisation technology in 33 of its buildings. The system reduces the incoming voltage of electricity supply to a building to a level that allows equipment to work normally but without wasting excess energy which is released as heat. This is expected to cut the Agency’s carbon emissions by between 700 and 900 tonnes annually, reducing energy bills by between 160,000 and 200,000. The savings will see the scheme paying for itself in three to four years.

The Environment Agency’s has already introduced energy efficiency measures which have cut its carbon emissions by 14 per cent since 2006-07. The steps include intelligent technologies which manage temperature and lighting and which have saved about 100,000 pounds a year. It is also embarking on plans to install 80 wind turbines on its land.

Graham Ledward, Director of Resources at the Environment Agency said the UK target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 was a difficult but vital task but improved environmental performance did not have to mean increased costs. “From April 2010 many large businesses and public sector organisations including the Environment Agency will need to register under the Government’s CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme, which is designed to reduce carbon emissions. I would encourage businesses to see this as an opportunity, to build environmental credibility and save money,” he said.