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EW4Decarbonise Energy Supply at SBC Sites


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A set of different permanent actions and projects have been undertaken by the Council to monitor and better understand the energy consumption (electricity and gas) across their sites, aiming to introduce decarbonisation actions for its energy supply, primarily reducing dependency on natural gas.


According to the UK Climate Change Committee's Sixth Carbon Budget Report, direct Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from buildings in the UK accounted for 87 MtCO2e in 2019 (which was 17% of the total national GHG emissions), primarily CO2 from fossil fuels heating.

SBC has moved to a Zero Carbon for Business tariff for its corporate electricity supply contract, as highlighted in Action EW5. Therefore, reducing and phasing out natural gas use at SBC sites is the main remaining challenge for SBC buildings decarbonisation. Natural gas is primarily used for heating and Hot Water Supply (HWS) across SBC properties.

This decarbonisation challenge has positive synergies with broader Stevenage decarbonisation targets, inspiring and leading by example, but also directly contributing to the decarbonisation of the public sector, residential sector, and commercial sector across the town.

Pathway 2 Decarbonisation challenge

Based on a literature review SBC has outlined a hierarchy framework to analyse actions to decarbonise SBC buildings as shown below. The top green actions are typically the most desirable and cost-efficient, while the bottom brown-orange actions are more expensive, uncertain or they imply relying on fossil fuels.

Pathway 2 Hierarchical framework

As part of this challenge, the Council has conducted different actions to monitor, better understand and reduce the energy consumption across it's sites and operations.

SBC is currently monitoring the electricity demand profile of 11 sites through a digital meter explorer and dashboard, aiming to identify and take further smart energy savings in different time horizons.

Additionally, the Council has carried out energy audits for electricity and gas consumption at SBC main sites, aiming to compare these outcomes with the EPC recommendations and take further action to decarbonise our buildings.


What are we doing?

  • Todo01/04/2023

    Energy upgrades at SBC Leisure Facilities

    Some of SBC top sites in terms of energy consumption and carbon emissions are SBC leisure facilities, which are managed by a third party under a leisure management contract (Everyone Active, EA).

    The current leisure manager has a sustainability team and has been working on energy efficiency measures across the facilities. Since EA took over these facilities, the following works have been conducted:

    • Stevenage Golf & Conference Centre: replacement of floodlights for driving range and replacement of driving range bay lighting.
    • Ridlins Athletics Stadium: Internal lighting LED installation to replace floodlights due in August 2023 and BMS upgrade and reconfiguration process.
    • Stevenage Arts & Leisure Centre: External lighting changed to LEDs; PHE insulation jackets ordered and awaiting delivery; and internal LED lighting upgrade programme 80% complete.
    • Stevenage Swimming Centre: Pool cover installed; Pipe insulation completed; Internal and main pool lighting replaced with LEDs; PHE insulation jackets ordered and just awaiting delivery; BMS upgrade and reconfiguration process.
  • Todo31/03/2024

    Electricity monitoring through Grid Edge platform to identify efficiency opportunities

    The electricity demand profile of 11 SBC sites has been monitored through the digital meter explorer created by Grid Edge since May 2023 as a first step to identify smart energy savings. This is an add on to the BMS system which looks for trends to provide efficiencies.

    The 11 sites being monitored are: New Bus Interchange, Silkin Court, Ridlins Athletic Tracks, Daneshill House, St Georges MSCP, Indoor Market, Cavendish Road Depot, Business Technology Centre, Meadway, Westgate MSCP and the Changing Rooms at Shephalbury Park.

    Though the Meter Explorer, SBC now has an insight into out of hours energy uses and any unusual consumption patterns. The monitoring has initiated analysis into the management and operation at these sites.

  • Todo2025

    St George’s and Westgate Multi Storey Car Park (MSCP) upgrade programme

    St. George’s MSCP has LED lighting and motion sensors installed to reduce the electricity consumption. However, the usage is still significant due to the 8 EV charging points, lifts, and the car park control room. Therefore, as part of planning for an upgrade project, the SBC engineering team is currently investigating the feasibility and the cost-benefits of installing solar PVs, i.e., horizontally on the top or mounting them vertically on the cladding of the two lift rooms on the roof, and a BESS.

    For Westgate MSCP, most of the lighting units are very old and not energy efficient. The cost-benefit of switching to LEDs and installing lighting sensors will also be investigated during the planning phase of the upgrade project.

What has been done?

  • Done31/07/2023

    Conduct energy audits across SBC sites (electricity and gas)

    Energy audits have been carried out at three of SBC main buildings: Daneshill House, Cavendish Road Depot and the Indoor Market.

    The scope of the Daneshill House audit was to identify short-term energy and cost savings opportunities, while the audits for Cavendish Road Depot and the Indoor Market aimed to include medium to long-term measures to enable low carbon operations in the future.

    The energy audits during 2023 have been completed and briefings including the results and main recommendations have been delivered to the Council.

    A set of quantifiable and unquantifiable recommendations from the energy audit reports are now acknowledged by the Council. The council is currently working to understand these alongside the EPC recommendations for these sites to take further action.

  • Done31/12/2022

    Boiler upgrade for SBC shelter housing

    Since 2018, SBC has been upgrading the communal heating system in all 15 of its sheltered housing units across Stevenage with more energy efficient and lower carbon emissions alternatives. The works have included:

    • Installation of ASHPs, HWSs, boilers, and pipework.
    • Modification and installation of new heating plant.
    • Modification or extension of existing cold and hot water supplies.
    • All making good - ceiling and lighting.

    The upgrade scheme had been completed in autumn 2022 and is estimated to reduce the 2023 carbon emissions by 34% compared to 2017 (prior the start of any upgrade work).

    Almost two-thirds of CO2 reduction is due to the installation of new technologies with higher energy efficiency and lower consumption of fossil fuels. The other third of the reduction is due to decarbonisation of power grid at a national level.

Summary and contacts



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Information updated 05/06/2024