Reducing the carbon emissions of the council

The council aims to:

  • reduce the council's energy consumption by 10% of the 2003/04 figure by the year 2010.
  • purchase 15% of the city council's electricity from renewable sources by the year 2010.
  • actively promote a sustainable energy future for Bristol and its communities.
  • reduce the carbon emissions of the council by 60% by 2050, recently modified to be a 3% reduction year on year up to 2020.

The council has signed the Nottingham Declaration on Climate Change. This allows us to link its policies and achievements into a national agreement.

How we are working towards meeting these targets

Investing in improving the energy efficiency of council properties

Since 1991/92 an estimated £20 million has been saved by negotiating new cheaper tariffs for electricity, gas and oil supplies. During this period around £1.4 million has been invested into improving the energy efficiency of the council's buildings. We are also investing this money into developing major renewable energy projects.

Energy from renewable sources

Bristol was one of the first authorities to purchase electricity generated from renewable sources in April 1998. Our target was to purchase 15% of the council's electricity from renewable sources by 2010. A significant step in reaching this target was supplying Bristol’s 34,000 street lights with green electricity, from January 2007.

Energy awareness raising and training

We produce energy awareness posters and stickers for distribution throughout the council. Each council property has a volunteer Site Energy Officer who helps raise energy awareness and identifies energy and water wastage at their site.

Renewable energy projects in Bristol

Wind power

Wind project at Avonmouth - Avonmouth is the best site in Bristol for siting wind turbines. The two turbines proposed would produce a significant contribution to meeting our renewable energy target.

Biomass heating

Bristol now has the largest cluster of biomass boilers in the south west. We aim to replace oil and gas boilers at other council owned sites with biomass boilers where feasible. Biomass Heating systems page

Solar energy

In January 2007, the council installed solar photovoltaic panels on the roof of the Easton Customer Service Point, which has over 25,000 customers a year. Predicted annual energy output is 3,510 kWh electricity a year and equivalent savings of 1.5 tonnes of CO2.

Three solar heated water installations have also been undertaken - at a nursery school and at elderly peoples homes (EPH). All of these have a high use of hot water all year round. Low Carbon Building Programme grants were obtained for both EPHs.

We are currently planning further solar PV installations at a number of Bristol schools, funding these through the government Feed In Tariff.