The Conservative-run county council’s efforts in East Sussex to tackle climate change have been given a boost after more than 2,500 residents signed up to a solar panel scheme.
As part of ongoing work to cut carbon emissions, East Sussex County Council teamed up with other Sussex authorities to launch Solar Together Sussex, a group buying scheme allowing residents to buy high-quality solar panels and battery storage at a competitive price.
Since its launch in September, more than 7,600 households from across Sussex have signed up to the scheme which could help residents reduce their annual carbon emissions by around a tonne each year.
Conservative councillor Nick Bennett, lead member for resources and climate change, said: “Having declared a climate emergency in 2019, we take our role in addressing the global crisis extremely seriously and I am delighted that so many of our residents are taking steps to reduce their own carbon footprint and support the council’s efforts.
“While we, as a council, have been able to cut carbon emissions by more than 60 per cent since 2008 and are working towards our ambitious target of becoming carbon neutral by 2050 at the latest, it is important that we lead by example and make it easy for residents to play their part.”
In a bid to reduce its carbon footprint, East Sussex County Council has installed energy efficient measures in its buildings and provided renewable electricity for its offices and libraries and for street lighting and traffic controls.
A programme to improve the energy efficiency of more than 14,000 streetlights is making great progress with just lights on roundabouts and heritage lanterns to complete. As a result of this work, the county council has seen a reduction of more than 250 tonnes of CO2 from street lighting – about 12 per cent of total street lighting emissions.
And the work continues with 750 solar panels to be fitted to six county council buildings, including County Hall in Lewes, by Spring 2022 and several other projects in the pipeline.
Cllr Bennett added: “While we are pleased with what we have achieved so far, we know that there is a long way to go and that we face bigger challenges to reach our ultimate target.
“Last month we approved investment of £3.05million to support our ongoing efforts and we continue to work with partners and MPs to identify projects and funding that will help us become a carbon neutral authority and enable residents to reduce their own carbon footprints.”
For more information about the council’s environmental priorities and projects, visit www.eastsussex.gov.uk/environment/priorities/whatwearedoing/
For more information about Solar Together Sussex visit www.solartogether.co.uk/eastsussex/home