IES has been awarded the contract to develop a Local Area Energy Plan (LAEP) for the Borough Council of Calderdale as a vital part of its efforts to reach net zero by 2038.
The LAEP will cover the whole of Calderdale, a metropolitan borough of West Yorkshire with a population of 206,600. The council declared a climate emergency in 2019 and the plan will underpin its climate emergency response, acting as a framework for investment decisions, informing planning and policy, and driving community engagement and stakeholder collaboration.
Utilising its technology to carry out detailed analysis and modelling, IES will deliver a LAEP which outlines costed, data-driven and evidence-backed interventions required to decarbonise the borough. It will include changes that can be made to decarbonise local heat and transport, improve the energy efficiency of buildings and generate renewable energy.
These changes may include retrofit options for domestic and non-domestic buildings, opportunities for low carbon heat networks or district heating, use of rooftop solar or wind turbines for local renewable energy generation and the implementation of EV charging infrastructure. Collectively, these interventions will set out the most affordable, effective route for Calderdale to meet its 2038 net zero target.
The project is the first of its kind in West Yorkshire, acting as a pilot which other councils in the area, and across the country, can learn from. It’s hoped that following its successful implementation, further LAEPs will be created across the Leeds City Region in the coming years as councils strive to meet net zero goals.
The Calderdale project will be delivered across a 12-month period, from February 2023 to February 2024. It’s being supported by the North East & Yorkshire (NEY) Net Zero Hub through its local capacity support to the West Yorkshire area. The NEY Net Zero Hub is one of five Net Zero Hubs across the country focused on helping the UK reach net zero targets.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Resilience, Cllr Scott Patient, said: “This is a major piece of innovative work which will give a whole-borough overview of where we can focus our efforts to reach our net zero targets and inform wider climate action.
“As the first borough in the region to develop a Local Area Energy Plan, we’re leading the way in our fight to tackle to climate emergency, using data, evidence and available technology to inform and subsequently instigate real change.
“The LAEP would also act as a framework to inform further policies, including planning and investment decisions, putting carbon efficiency at the heart of Council-decision making.”
Valeria Ferrando, Associate Director at IES, said: “Local Area Energy Plans can play a vital role in helping councils and local authorities to meet their targets. More than 75% of local authorities in the UK have declared a climate emergency but many of these still do not have a plan in place to reach net zero.
“Calderdale is spearheading the decarbonisation drive in the West Yorkshire region and we have the tools available to create a pathway to net zero that meets their requirements, encourages community collaboration and makes a real difference in the fight against climate change.”