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New energy plan leads the way on climate action in Calderdale

Insulation being installed in a home in Calderdale

Calderdale Council is leading the way in its efforts to tackle the climate emergency, with the development of a major new tool to help inform work to reach ambitious net zero targets.

The Council will be one of the first local authorities in the country, and the first in the region, to develop a Local Area Energy Plan (LAEP) which includes an interactive digital twin of the borough.

Development of the LAEP began in February 2023 and is now nearing completion. This is an innovative and ambitious detailed plan which looks to identify where changes can be made to decarbonise local heat and transport, improve the energy efficiency of buildings and generate renewable energy.

The innovative digital twin model is informed by local data to represent the current local energy landscape. Every building in the borough has been mapped, bringing the data to life, and the plan shows what energy efficiency improvements could be made and where, as well as their cost.

Opportunities include fabric retrofit measures for homes and non-domestic buildings, air source heat pumps and low carbon heat networks, plus the use of rooftop solar PV for local renewable energy generation.

The LAEP sequences each of these opportunities into a timeline that considers current legislation and the future potential to meet the borough’s target of achieving net zero by 2038, with significant progress by 2030.

Calderdale LAEP is funded by the Council and through the North East and Yorkshire Net Zero Hub via the West Yorkshire Combined Authority. The NEY Net Zero Hub is one of five Net Zero Hubs across the country focused on helping the UK reach net zero targets.

The plan has been developed with key local partners, including businesses and community groups, in recognition that any climate action requires support and contributions from local communities. In total, over 100 organisations have been involved with its development.

The plan will help support the key actions from the borough’s Climate Action Plan, and work to support warm and resilient buildings. It will inform decisions and priority work to set out the most affordable, effective route for Calderdale to meet net zero targets. Once established in Calderdale, the LAEP will act as a pilot and learning opportunity for other councils in West Yorkshire.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Action and Housing, Cllr Scott Patient, said:

“Climate action remains a priority for the Council and this groundbreaking work sees us leading the way in using the latest technology to help inform work to reach our ambitious carbon reduction targets.

“Over 50% of Calderdale’s carbon emissions come from our buildings. Significant work has already taken place to decarbonise our own estate and the LAEP digital twin will help us to identify where work can take place across the borough, whilst giving a strong evidence base for future funding applications.

“The development of the LAEP is a significant piece of innovative work, which will not only help support our climate ambitions in Calderdale, but also help inform work across West Yorkshire and beyond.”

For regular updates about climate action in Calderdale, sign up for the Zero Carbon Calderdale e-newsletter at https://mailchi.mp/calderdale/zerocarbon(external link)

Building a sustainable and resilient future is a key part of the Vision 2024 for Calderdale. Calderdale reached its 50th anniversary on 1 April 2024. This is the ultimate year for the Vision 2024 for Calderdale. Find out more about it here: www.calderdale.gov.uk/vision

As 2024 closes, the transition to the new Vision 2034 for Calderdale will begin, encouraging local communities to be bold and ambitious about what we can do next to make Calderdale a better place for all.

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