Merthyr Council outlines plans to reduce carbon emissions

MERTHYR Tydfil council has outlined what it is doing to reduce its carbon emissions.

After full council approved the de-carbonisation plan for 2023-30 last month, the council has explained the measures it has taken and the projects that are planned or under way.

Key projects so far have included the replacement of 7,500 street lights with LED alternatives, the installation of 1,900 solar panels on council buildings, including schools, and the upgrading of 6,900 light fittings to LED lighting.

The council also highlighted the installation of energy efficiency measures in 32 council buildings via the Welsh Government REFIT Cymru framework.

A number of electric vehicles are now in operation and the council aims to have an all-electric fleet by 2030. It is also looking at the further development of electric charging infrastructure.

The council has committed to planting more than 1,000 trees in open spaces throughout the county borough to help naturally absorb carbon dioxide, with the council saying preservation of land is vital in the decarbonisation process.

It said it is “actively investigating” the feasibility of building net zero schools and solar has been installed at recycling depots to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions.

There is also the refurbishment of Pen Y Dre High School to net zero carbon standard, as well as a project to develop a private wire network in collaboration with the NHS to use the power generated by the solar panels at the school and exploring options for low carbon heating schemes.

Councillor Michelle Symonds, cabinet member for regeneration, housing and public protection, whose role covers de-carbonisation, said: “As an authority we see carbon reduction and climate change as key areas for action.

“We are already working towards becoming a carbon neutral organisation by 2030 and we are now in the early stages of delivering our first Decarbonisation Plan.”

She added: “Working towards this plan will have huge benefits for Merthyr Tydfil, with the potential for a cleaner, greener, and more affordable energy for our communities.

“The reduction in carbon emissions and improved air quality will bring a knock-on benefit for health and the wider environment.

“There is also the potential to reduce fuel poverty, supporting our communities and developing the green economy and green jobs for the area.”

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