Agenda and draft minutes

Climate Change Sub-Group
Wednesday 22nd September 2021 7.30 pm

Venue: Via Zoom

Contact: Jonah Anthony 

Media

Items
No. Item

8.

SUBSTITUTION OF MEMBERS

To note any substitution of Members made in accordance with Council Procedure Rules.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The following substitution of Committee Members had been made in accordance with Council Procedure Rule:

 

Councillor A. Hellyer for Councillor J. Lake

Councillor J. Cragg for Councillor R. Lass

9.

APOLOGIES

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies of absence was received from Councillor J. Lake and Councillor R. Lass

10.

MINUTES

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 7 July 2021 (previously circulated).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 7 July 2021 were approved as a correct record and noted by the Chair.

11.

USE OF CLIMATE CHANGE FUNDING FOR UBEEQO VEHICLES pdf icon PDF 230 KB

A report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) proposing a drawn down from the Climate Change Earmarked Reserve to cover an increased rental cost for the Council’s electric pool cars until contract expiry in June 2022.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) that proposed using funds from the Climate Change Reserve to cover the increase in rental costs for the Councils electric pool cars until the contract expires in June 2022.

 

The following points were noted:

 

-        Members showed support for the scheme noting that the scheme had a positive impact for the Council and the community. Members noted that members of the public were able to use the vehicles during out of office hours, including weekends. Officers stated that the Council received a rebate when the cars were used by the public, making the scheme even more cost effective.

-        Members asked about the usage of the electric vehicles. Officers stated that usage is picking up and is nearly back to pre-pandemic levels.

-        Members asked about the cleaning process of the vehicles. Officers stated that the cars are valeted every two weeks. Additionally, the cars are fitted with hand sanitiser and cleaning supplies with instruction for users to apply between usage.

-        Members asked whether the scheme would be extended and expanded to more than two vehicles. Officers stated that a re-procurement process had started to secure a new contract beyond the current expiry date. Officers highlighted that the saturation point of the two-vehicle usage had not been met and with hybrid working of council staff, it was still unclear whether demand would increase. However, the potential to increase capacity would be something Officers would seek to accommodate in the new contract.

 

RESOLVED:

 

Unanimous to agree the officer’s recommendation, that Officers should drawdown funding from the Climate Change Reserve for increased contract costs until June 2022.

12.

PUBLIC SECTOR DECARBONISATION SCHEME UPDATE

Update to be provided by Services Manager (Building Services) on Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council’s projects 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members received a verbal update from Services Manager (Building Services) on the Councils buildings decarbonisation projects funded by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) under the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme. The Council had been successful with each of the three bids it submitted, involving projects at Campus West, Campus East, and Hatfield Swim Centre. Officers informed Members that the Council would seek to submit additional bid to BEIS under phase 3 of the Scheme. Phase 3 did not have a size threshold and the Council would therefore be able to seek funding for its smaller sites.

 

The following points were noted:

 

-        Members asked about the size and location of air source heat pumps that will be installed across the three sites. Officers stated that for two of the sites’ planning conditions had yet to be confirmed. However, Officers were hopeful that the pumps will be on the roof to be out of sight and would have acoustic screening surrounding them.

-        Members queried if there was funding for the decarbonisation of Councils housing stock, and whether the Council had investigated this. Officers stated that this particular funding was only for public buildings but assured Members that additional funding opportunities for council properties would be explored where possible.

 

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the update be noted

13.

DECARBONISATION HOUSING PROJECT

Update to be provided by the Housing Development and Strategy Service Manager on Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council’s projects.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members received a verbal update from Housing Development and Strategy Service Manager on the Council’s project to move towards net-zero carbon homes through the introduction of green technologies into affordable homes. The project was a collaboration with internal and external partners such as Property Services and the University of Hertfordshire. Officers stated that the projects would also provide training to residents and officers in how to effectively use the green technologies. The Council would also look at the procurement of low carbon companies to help deliver the projects successfully. 

 

The following points were noted:

 

-        Members expressed concern that the instructions and help for residents would be online. Officers confirmed that they had looked at ways to effectively communicate with residents with different needs and appropriate non online tools would be used.

-        Members asked whether water recovery and capture systems were being looked at. Officers stated that the project was at an early stage and all options, including water recovery and capture systems, would be looked at. Officers confirmed that a report would be provided soon with a greater level of detail.

-        Members asked who would undertake the costing for the various net-zero projects. Officers confirmed that University of Hertfordshire would undertake this task and was actively looking at ways that implementation and retrofitting costs could be reduced. Officers stated they were looking at alternative ways to be cost effective through the Councils partnership with Eastern New Energy (ENE).

-        Members expressed support of the partnership with the University of Hertfordshire and the introduction of green technologies into affordable housing.

-        Members commented that education of users would be key factor in the effectiveness of the project.

-        Members asked if the project would be aimed at new builds or older houses. Officers confirmed that the work is for new builds. However, Officers have asked the University of Hertfordshire about retrofitting and this information can be shared once available.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the update be noted

14.

EASTERN NEW ENERGY LED LIGHTING PROJECT UPDATE

Update to be provided by the Economic Development Officer to provide on Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council’s projects.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members received a verbal update from the Economic Development Officer on the Eastern New Energy partnership which had provided an opportunity for local businesses to adopt LED lighting as part of a measures to reduce their carbon footprint. Officers informed Members that the Council had a target to carry out 30 energy audits of SME organisations, alongside a grant scheme to help business reduce their carbon footprint by changing to LED lighting. Officers stated that fifteen SMEs had registered for the scheme and thirteen energy audits had been undertaken and 3 LED lighting installations had taken place utilising the grant available. Members noted that registered businesses had and would attend carbon literacy training and acknowledged that the Council was ahead of other ENE delivery partners in meeting project delivery targets.

 

Members expressed their support for the project and the benefit it brought to businesses.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the update be noted.

15.

GREENHOUSE GASES REPORT pdf icon PDF 123 KB

Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) on the Council’s carbon emission and its reduction.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) provided an annual update on the progress on carbon emissions in the Council’s estate and operations and the community within the Welwyn Hatfield boundary. The report showed a decrease of emissions.

 

The following points were noted:

 

-        Members asked if the Council was getting its electricity from green energy. Officers stated that the Council had switched to a green tariff, but this change had been recent and was not reflected in the data yet.

-        Members expressed disappointment at the increased gas usage and asked whether the Council building would benefit from further insultation. Officers stated that electricity consumption had decreased, and the gas reading was slightly out of sync due to how gas usage was measured and reported. However, Officers confirmed that Campus East had been refurbishment with new windows and insulated walls, and this would be reflected in future reports.

-        Members asked how easily the Council could get to net zero by increasing the amount of energy received from renewable sources. Officers stated that projects were underway to help achieve the target alongside the National Grid being decarbonised.

-        Members asked about cooling the buildings in the summer and if a plan was in place for this. Officers advised that this was not a current consideration but there was an expectation that new technology would become available in due course.

-        Members queried when the latest emission data would become available. Officers informed that the data was published yearly but had a two-year time lag.

-        Members discussed the merit of the Council generating its own energy as solar technology costs decreased. Members expressed support for increased solar panel usage on Council buildings and in the wider community.

-        Members stated the education was key for fundamental change and that conversations and public consultations within the community about solar panels installations would be needed.

 

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the report be noted.

16.

WHBC CLIMATE CHANGE STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN UPDATE

Verbal update from officers. The Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan can be accessed using this link: https://www.welhat.gov.uk/article/10974/Strategy

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members received a verbal update from Economic Development Officer that a full update from all officers on the Action Plan would be provided at the next meeting.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the update be noted

17.

HERTFORDSHIRE CLIMATE CHANGE AND SUSTAINABILITY PARTNERSHIP (HCCSP) UPDATE

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members received a verbal report from the Executive Member (Housing and Climate Change) as the Council’s representative to the Hertfordshire Climate Change and Sustainability Partnership (HCCSP). The Executive Member informed Members that the latest HCCSP focused on transport, with discussions on improving East – West Connectivity. Further updates were given on the draft EV Charging Strategy, including the locations of any new charging points, and the potential introduction of a countywide energy saving trust app following Dacorum Councils community engagement project.  In response to Member questions, Officers agreed to provide further information on the EV Charing Strategy including any details on the types of charging points to be deployed and the timescale for operation. Members also took the opportunity to discuss the development of hydrogen fuelled vehicles.

 

Members also noted that the Carbon Reduction sub-group had been in the process of finalising their Action Plan; a new Behaviour Change Officer group had been set up; and that the Transport subgroup would submit their proposed Action Plan to the next HCCSP meeting.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the update be noted.