COP26: Council schemes available to help to reduce carbon emissions from your property

Ahead of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference COP26 conference starting on October 31, we take a look at what measures are happening locally.

Tuesday, 26th October 2021, 3:28 pm
Updated Monday, 1st November 2021, 2:57 pm

We can all do our bit to help slow the rate of climate change, be it recycling more, using reusable products or switching our lightbulbs to LED ones.

For those bigger changes there are various grants available for home energy efficiency improvements.

Fred Ellis has used schemes available through Chichester District Council to help reduce carbon emissions from his home.

Fred Ellis

He has reduced his carbon footprint by installing an air source heat pump and applied to a PV solar panel installation scheme, both through schemes delivered by Chichester District Council.

In addition, Fred has also upgraded his patio doors by installing triple glazing, introduced a higher standard of insulation and also replaced his lights with low-energy LED lighting.

The East Wittering resident said: “Originally I only had an electricity supply, which ran some old radiators and an immersion heater, but then I had a smart meter fitted and I could suddenly see how much energy I was using, which was quite scary.

“After doing some research, I found out about an air source heat pump that would supply the heating and hot water in my home for about a quarter of the energy I was using.

“I saw on Twitter that the council were offering funding for energy efficient measures, so I decided to apply.

“With the grant funding I received, I was able to get new radiators and a new hot water system. So far, I haven’t had any problems with the air source heat pump – some people say that it takes a bit longer to heat up than a gas boiler, but I haven’t noticed any difference. Upstairs and downstairs is now lovely and warm and it’s definitely going to be cheaper to run.

“I have an app on my phone from my energy company which shows how much energy I’m using, and it is drastically less than before.”

There are also plans to install electricity-generating solar panels to power his energy efficient home.

He is currently sourcing quotes for this work, and as part of this he has signed up to the Solar Together scheme, which is delivered by Chichester District Council alongside West Sussex County Council and iChoose.

This initiative helps district homeowners and small and medium-sized businesses to purchase high quality solar panels at a competitive price.

When the panels are running, they will supply the home with free electricity that’s also free from carbon emissions.

Cllr Penny Plant, cabinet member for the environment and Chichester Contract Services at Chichester District Council, said: “Fred is one of the many residents in our district looking to save money on their energy bills and reduce their impact on the environment.”

“In the run up to COP26, we hope many more people will be inspired. COP26 is the biggest and most important international environmental summit the UK has ever hosted – this will bring countries together to create a plan to limit global warming, but you don’t have to be a world leader to make a difference in the fight against climate change.

“I myself have signed up for the Solar Together scheme to access affordable panels, and we know that residents, businesses and organisations across the district are already doing their bit by making changes to their lifestyles that will make a big difference to the local environment.”

Last year, the council produced a Climate Emergency Action Plan, which sets out a carbon reduction target of 10 per cent year-on-year until 2025 for the Chichester district.

The plan outlines the council’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions within the work it does, and great progress has already been made.

People can find out more about this at:

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Cllr Plant added: “We are working with West Sussex County Council and other district and borough councils to engage with residents, businesses and organisations about the ways in which we can all play our part in the fight against climate change.

“We are also busy working on a behavioural change campaign to let residents know about the various energy efficiency measures that they can make to their own homes to save money and reduce their carbon footprint – some of these steps are small and simple, but when we all act together, they make a big difference.

“These include: making sure radiators aren’t covered or blocked by furniture so that heat can get into the room; draught proofing letterboxes, keyholes and chimneys; insulating the loft, walls and flooring, as well as hot water tanks and pipes; switching off lights and electrical goods when not in use, and; running the washing machine with full loads at 30 degrees on short cycles.

“Other steps are bigger – such as some of those that Fred has taken. So, we are organising an event for people where they can hear all about home efficiency measures such as heat pumps, PV solar panels, and many more, and where they can also learn about the help and financial support that is available.

“This event will be taking place on November 29 in Chichester. There will be more details to follow, but please save the date.”

There is also the Chichester Eco-Festival on November 6.

The event will bring together in conversation Chichester district and city councillor Martyn Bell, with local experts and activists: Heather Barrie (Green Party), Nicola Peel (Environmental Solutionist), Yvonne Thomson (CEO, UK Harvest), and Tony Whitbread (president, Sussex Wildlife Trust).

Its aim is to inspire the public to learn, inform, and act in response to the climate and ecological crisis.

Officers from the council will be at its Let’s Talk: Climate Change stand.

You can find out more about the event here: are various grants available for home energy efficiency improvements and people can find out more about this by contacting Citizens Advice on 01243 974063 or by visiting more information about the work the council is doing to help tackle climate change in the district and for details of how individuals, businesses and organisations can play their part too, visit Earlier this week the Great Sussex Way and Chichester Festival Theatre organised an event to coincide with COP26.

It created a human sign to spell out the words ‘Commit’, which was then pictured from the air.

Those involved were also asked to make a commitment to something – big or small – that they can do today to work towards a more sustainable future.

The event took place at noon on Tuesday at Oaklands Park, Chichester.