Cardiff Approves Retrofitting 23 Buildings for 60% Emissions Cut by 2030

The city of Cardiff, Wales has approved plans to retrofit 23 council buildings to make them more energy-efficient. The project is part of the One Planet Cardiff program that has the ambitious goal of a 60% reduction in carbon emissions from the council’s buildings and schools estate by the year 2030.

Wherever possible, council buildings are currently using green, locally sourced electricity, but the city reports that the 22 school buildings initially identified for the first round of the program still produce 1,595.7 tonnes of CO2 annually, at a cost of more than £1.1m (~USD$1.3m) for 7.7million kWh of energy.

The Re:Fit program – managed and run via Local Partnerships (LP), a joint venture between the Local Government Association, HM Treasury, and the Welsh Government – will guarantee a minimum of 15% energy, carbon- and cost-savings. The work is expected to be financed by the Wales Funding Program, which allows public sector bodies to apply for flexible interest-free loans for energy-saving projects. A Re:Fit service provider will be appointed for a four-year period, with delivery of retrofit measures in the first group of buildings to take place in 2024-25. Subsequent projects will then follow over the next four years. 

£3m was previously invested in Re:Fit projects in 19 schools for a range of energy conservation measures, including: solar PV; building management systems; direct hot water passive infrared sensors (PIRS); fridge freezer motor controls; LED lighting upgrades; and valve jackets. The council reports the investment has resulted in an energy savings of c.3.87million kWh per year, a carbon savings of c.1,123 tonnes/CO2e per year, and a cost savings of c. £328,000 (~USD$414,000) per year.

“The Re:Fit programme offers an opportunity for us to reduce costs, save energy and continue the good work that has contributed to a 12.3% reduction in carbon emissions from the council’s estate since launching our One Planet Cardiff response to the climate emergency,” said cabinet member for investment and development, councilor Russell Goodway.