Published: Friday, 7th July 2023

We've partnered with SSE Energy Solutions on a project which aims to reduce carbon emissions across 11 public buildings by 20 per cent.

The forecasted savings will reduce emissions by 476.5 tons of CO2, the equivalent of taking more than 2million miles of car journeys off the roads every year.

The partnership has seen vital community assets such as libraries, theatres and leisure centres undergo a range of energy-reducing measures including the installation of rooftop solar, energy storage systems, air-source heat pumps, demand controlled ventilation, and LED lighting. The work will deliver cost-savings of 35per cent, based on 2019 rates. All of the libraries have had oil boilers and gas heaters removed, with Daikin Heat Pumps installed.

Additionally, waterless urinals and ultra-low flow showers have been installed in some buildings to help reduce water usage by up to 10per cent. SSE has also supported us to install 20 EV charging points at our HQ at Gun Wharf in Chatham.

The retrofits, worth an estimated £3.2million, represent a significant step towards our ambitions of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 as our operational buildings (heating and electricity) currently account for 60per cent of total emissions

Medway Park and Gun Wharf, together account for 69per cent of the total energy consumed by the 11 buildings. A Solar and Energy Storage System installed by SSE Energy Solutions at the sports centre means it can go fully off grid for four to five hours a day.

The buildings upgraded as part of this programme will form the foundation of our Smart City project. Nine of the eleven buildings will be fitted with Smart Building upgrades, equipped with an Internet-of-Things embedded controller and server platform that delivers integrated control and supervision capabilities. The accompanying Building Management System will monitor all heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) services, ensuring the building operates at maximum efficiency.

Achieving net zero together

Cllr Simon Curry, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Climate Change, said: “We are committed to achieving net zero carbon in Medway by 2050 and this important project will help us reach this goal. We are working hard to make significant carbon savings and this second phase of the project will help us to achieve this. I am pleased to be working alongside SSE and we will work with all our local suppliers and contractors to support local businesses and achieve net zero together."

Exemplar whole system approach

Tunde Olaoye, Smart Energy Systems Sector Lead at SSE Energy Solutions, said: “We know that there are many stepping stones to reach net zero and no single solution alone will resolve the challenges we face. Projects like those undertaken across Medway Council are an exemplar of SSE’s ‘Whole System Approach’ and how this can help businesses and organisations to fully decarbonise. By combining a range of energy reducing measures and renewable technologies with SSE’s experience in delivering investment and controlling localised flexible energy assets, we can transform the sustainability of community assets and public spaces up and down the country vital to our everyday lives. The responsibility to decarbonise the world we live in is one we all share. Partnerships with forward-thinking organisations like Medway Council and other local authorities represent a vital step forward towards creating net zero communities that will benefit future generations to come.”

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