Energy efficiency

Calderdale Council has been working hard to make real reductions in carbon emissions.

The Council is a member of the Eco Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS). This is a standard that lets people know which organisations you can trust to have genuinely acted on environmental issues, such as, climate change and are committed to ongoing improvements. It shows that the Council is at the forefront when it comes to tackling climate change. Some of the projects that helped achieve the standard were:

  • A programme of Installing solar panels on suitable schools;
  • Reducing the fuel used in  Council fleet vehicles;
  • Applying energy-saving measures in the construction of Hebden Bridge and Kingcross Libraries as well as the Sowerby Bridge and Brighouse Pools;
  • Investing over £250,000 in energy efficiency measures in other existing public buildings; and
  • installing a ground source heat pump at Shibden Hall's Mereside Cafe.

Information on Calderdale Council's energy efficiency projects, in its buildings and schools can be found below. Also, this covers what you can do to save energy, money and carbon, both at home and at work.

Carbon management in schools

One of the Council's largest sources of carbon dioxide (a major green house gas responsible for climate change) is from the energy used in our schools. The cost of energy is already significant and is set to rise considerably over the coming years. In light of this, the Council is working directly with schools to reduce their environmental impact, as well as their bills.

Work completed so far

  • Training provided for Head Teachers and Premise Managers at the 20 schools with the highest energy consumption across the Borough.
  • Energy surveys conducted at several schools in the district and action plans developed to reduce energy use and carbon dioxide emissions.
  • Partnership working with the Alternative Technology Centre in Hebden Bridge. This is to promote the SUSSED energy and water reduction programme in Calderdale’s primary schools.
  • Work with schools to install wind turbines, solar panels and biomass boilers.
  • Calderdale schools took part in the West Yorkshire carbon conferences. Celebrating the 2010 CABE green day and taking part in environmental activities throughout the Borough.
  • In September 2010, the first of 100 smart meters were installed in schools to help manage energy usage.

Future work

Future work will be developed through Calderdale Energy Future, such as:

  • support the installation of further renewables; and
  • raise awareness of carbon management among schools.

Useful links

The Carbon Trust
A government-funded independent company that was launched in 2002. It helps to implement energy efficiency in the business and public sectors. It also aims to encourage the development of a low carbon sector in the UK.

An international environmental award scheme for schools, rewarding and accrediting schools that have made a commitment to continuously improving their environmental performance.

Alternative Technology Centre
Based in Hebden Bridge the Centre is an educational resource centre. Home to SUSchool and the SUSSED energy and water reduction programme.

Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE)
The Centre seeks sustainable energy solutions that engage people and communities to meet real needs for both environmentally sound and affordable energy services. It delivers innovative education programmes to schools. It offers downloadable pupil activity sheets (closely linked to the curriculum), guidance and support for teachers and energy auditing, management and monitoring.


Energy management in Council buildings

Energy use in Council buildings is a major source of carbon dioxide (a green house gas effecting climate change) and is also a major expense with costs set to rise over the coming years. Calderdale Council's Environmental policy sets a challenging target to reduce our carbon dioxide emissions by 40% (compared to 2005 levels) by 2020. To reduce costs and carbon dioxide, the Council is undertaking:

Recording and checking energy consumption

Monthly / quarterly billing data entered into database, enabling the following:

  • Tariff analysis;
  • notifying the building user of high / low consumption and investigating the reasons; providing advice, guidance and support;
  • calculation of performance indicators in order to identify areas for cost effective improvement.

Energy audits

  • Detailed investigation of building use, fabric, occupancy, heating and lighting controls;
  • measurement of energy flows and performance of plant and equipment;
  • review of policies and practices for energy management;
  • opportunities identified for investment in energy efficiency measures.

Smarter Fuel purchasing

The Environmental Management team works with building users to ensure the most cost effective fuel purchasing possible for Council buildings.

Energy efficiency improvements

Energy efficiency is the most cost effective way to reduce our emissions of carbon dioxide. Initiatives already undertaken include a Combined heat and power system for Todmorden Pool; quality insulated new pools at Sowerby Bridge and Brighouse; and efficient lighting for the Town Hall.

Purchasing green energy for Council buildings

Only 17% of all the electricity used by Calderdale Council is now generated from certified renewable energy sources. This results in a carbon dioxide saving of around 1,020 tonnes per year.

Further information

Association for the Conservation of Energy
The association aims to encourage a national awareness of the need for and benefits of energy conservation, help to establish sensible and consistent national policies and programmes, and increase investment in energy saving measures.

Energy Saving Trust 
The Trust focuses on delivering practical energy conservation solutions for households, small firms and the road transport sector.

Centre for Sustainable Energy
An independent charity which aims to advance sustainable energy policy and practice. CSE seeks environmentally sound and affordable energy solutions that meet the needs of and engage with people and communities.

What you can do to save energy

Most of the UK’s electricity is produced by burning fossil fuels, a process which releases greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. Scientists have shown that these gases are contributing to significant warming of the earth’s atmosphere, which in turn leads to climate change. For the UK, this is likely to mean massive increases in winter flooding, summer drought and severe storms, and the prognosis for the world as a whole is even more serious.

But if everyone in the country turned off their TV at the wall overnight instead of leaving it on standby, it would save enough energy to shut down one whole power station!

Here are some more suggestions for easy ways to save energy at home:

No cost (just your heart and mind)Double electrical socket and plug

  • Turn down your central heating by 1°C.
  • This can save up to 10% of your heating fuel, and consequently take 10% off your bill!
  • Don't leave TVs or other electrical devices on standby.
  • Turn them off at the wall (leaving them on standby still uses up to 50% of the electricity they use when they're on).
  • Switch off the lights when you leave a room.
  • Hang laundry on a clothes line to dry.
  • Tumble driers use huge amounts of energy
  • Only use your washing machine or dishwasher when you have a full load.
  • ‘Half load’ settings typically use as much as 80% of the power of a full cycle.
  • Wash your clothes at 30°C.
  • This alone can save £11 a year.
  • Choose a green electricity tariff and get your electricity from renewable sources.
  • Due to the rising costs of fossil fuels, this is no longer necessarily the expensive option it used to be
  • Don't fill the kettle with more water than you need.
  • Try an Energy Saving Monitor.
  • These devices will help you to understand how much energy the appliances in your home are using, so that you can switch off and save up to 15% of your energy bill. They're available to borrow free from all Calderdale Libraries.

Two houses demonstrating percentage heat loss with and without insulation

Typical heat loss rates from the average domestic house is:

  • 33% through external walls;
  • 26% through the roof;
  • 18% through windows
  • 12% from ventilation and draughts;
  • 8% through the floors; and
  • 3% through external doors.

If you are willing to spend a little more on saving energy, you might also like to think about these measures:

Low costAn energy saving light bulb

  • Replace your light bulbs with energy-efficient ones.
    Fitting just one bulb can save £3 a year and they are now very cheap to buy from local supermarkets, DIY stores and electrical retailers.
  • Draught proof your home.
    Draught proofing around doors and windows can save around £20 a year from your heating bill.
  • Fit an insulating jacket on your hot water tank and insulating your hot water pipes.
    These measures can save you up to £45 a year.
  • Insulate floors by filling gaps in the floor boards and skirting boards.
    This can save around £20 a year.

Higher cost

  • Loft and cavity wall fibre insulation. Check your loft insulation is up to current standards (270mm/11 inches). Insulation can save as much as £265 per year on your energy bills (source - Energy Saving Trust; figure based on an un insulated 3 bedroom semi-detached house). Free and discounted insulation is available to private owners and tenants living in Calderdale. For more details on the support available see Housing energy grants.
  • Replacing your old boiler with an energy efficient one will typically save up to 20% of your heating bill.
  • If you’re buying a new appliance, choose an energy-efficient one.
    Look for the Energy Star logo on IT equipment and the Energy Saving Recommended label on kitchen appliances. In most cases an A-rated appliance is the best, but be aware that the ratings for fridges and freezers go up to A++.
  • Install renewable energy on your home such as solar electricity (photovoltaics) or a wind turbine when appropriate. The Feed In Tariff (FIT) imitative will assist in reducing the payback period for installations of renewable electricity generation. For more information, see: Ofgem guidance on feed in tariffs .
  • Install solar water heating panels on your roof.
    A typical domestic system will cost between £3,000 and £5,000 to install. On average, solar water heating will save £50 - £80 per year off your heating bills.

Further information for householders is available at Housing: Energy efficiency. If you would like to find out about saving energy in your business, see: Energy saving tips for businesses .

Useful links

For more information about appliance energy ratings, visit: Energy Saving Trust .



  • Username Environmental Management
  • Email
  • Telephone 01422 392250
  • Address
    Environmental Management Team
    Housing, Environment and Renewal
    Town Hall
    PO Box 51
    HX1 1TP

See also