This project, which involves upgrading the heating system in the council's older short stay accommodation buildings, will not only make homes warmer for tenants but will also reduce energy usage and ongoing maintenance costs.

Earlier this year, the council was successful in securing £205,000 of Government funding to support the project. Together with a council investment of £135,000, this money is now being used to make improvements, such as replacing all of the heating units with modern and more efficient versions and installing LED lighting to the kitchens and bathrooms in 41 flats.

Councillor Alan Sutton, Cabinet Member for Communications, Licensing and Events, says: "With the current cost of living and climate crisis, projects such as this one are incredibly important. By investing in this work, we are making it possible for residents to reduce their energy use and are helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in our area. It's great to see work starting so quickly to make these improvements.

"This month, the current heating system is being replaced with the latest high-heat retention heaters and we are swapping old bathroom radiators with low surface temperature towel rails. Kitchen and bathroom light fittings are also being switched over to LED fittings. Switching to LED bulbs, where possible, is something that we can do in our own homes to help reduce energy costs and, together, help our local environment.

"This project builds on work completed earlier this year, when three of the older properties were converted to make three new flats as part of another project to increase the amount of short stay accommodation in the district. As part of this project, a new building with 17 flats was constructed, enabling us to further support residents who are facing homelessness, and we're very proud of its eco credentials. Energy efficient storage heaters were installed, as well as solar panels to generate renewable electricity, which will be used to supply electricity to communal areas and sell to the grid to help reduce the running costs of the building."

Across the rest of the council, work is already underway to increase the energy efficiency of other council-owned buildings. This forms an important part of the council's Climate Emergency Action Plan, which sets out a target of a 10% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions year on year until 2025 for both the council and for the district as a whole.

Councillor Penny Plant, Cabinet Member for the Environment and Chichester Contract Services at Chichester District Council, explains: "We are already making great strides with the projects outlined within our action plan. The work that is underway to continue improving the energy efficiency of homes and buildings in the district is another huge step forward in our fight against climate change.

"There are lots of different things people can do to increase energy efficiency in their homes, which will not only save money but also help tackle climate change. Even small DIY measures, such as fitting a hot water cylinder with an insulation jacket can save you £20 a year in heating and 150kg of carbon dioxide.

"It's also worth being aware that there are a number of different grants that you may be able to apply for to help improve the energy efficiency of your property. You can find out more information about this, as well as general tips and advice and get help if you are struggling with energy bills, by contacting Arun and Chichester Citizens Advice on 01243 974063.

"From investing in electric refuse collection vehicles and working to improve the energy efficiency within council buildings, to safeguarding a series of wildlife corridors across the district and increasing tree planting within the district, the council is progressing a number of major projects to help reduce carbon emissions within its own work and across the district over the coming months and years. We've also put together a video highlighting some of the many actions that we've been taking

Find further information on the work that the council is doing on climate change, plus energy saving tips. 

Date of release: 7 September 2022                                                                           

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