Climate Change Project Advisory Group - Tuesday, 1st February, 2022 4.00 pm

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No. Item




An apology for absence was received from Councillor S H Beer.


Appointment of Substitute Members


There were no substitute members appointed.


Declarations of Interest


There were no declarations of interest made by Members.




The Notes of the meetings held on 22 July 2021 and 30 November 2021 were approved as a correct record for signing by the Chairman.


Leisure Centres


The Strategic Development Lead (Leisure) provided a verbal update to Members on the energy consumption for the Dover District Leisure Centre and Tides.


Dover District Leisure Centre


Members were advised that energy consumption was reducing at the Dover District Leisure Centre for both electricity and gas. However, while consumption had reduced this had been offset by rising energy prices, so no financial savings had been achieved.


The potential for more solar energy production through additional solar panels was being explored. This could potentially improve the Centre’s BREEAM rating with the resultant climate benefits as well as revenue savings.


Members welcomed the consideration of additional solar energy and emphasised the need to embrace the opportunities that new technology and new heating sources would bring in the future as part of the goal of decarbonizing the leisure centre by 2030.


The Head of Assets and Building Control advised that he would continue to explore opportunities for grant funding in this area.



The Strategic Development Lead (Leisure) advised that options for a sustainable future for Tides were currently being explored and officers were engaging were with other local authorities undertaking such projects to learn from them. It was recognised that the technology in this area was developing quickly.


Members discussed the need to balance a sustainable future for Tides with delivering the service.






EV Chargepoints


The Head of Commercial Services updated Members on the progress of installing electric vehicle (EV) charging points in the Council’s car parks in Dover, Deal and Sandwich. The key points were:


·         That all installations had been completed except for 2 x 7KW dual units at the Quay Car Park, Sandwich, which had been delayed due to work that UK Power Networks needed to undertake, and four on-street units for Deal which had been cancelled. It was expected that the installation for the Quay would be completed by the end of February 2022 and the potential to reassign the four units for Deal to other car parks was being explored.


·         That usage data for EV charging points would inform any plans to expand the provision.


·         In respect of enforcement activity, it was stated that electric vehicles could only park for free when charging. Non-electric vehicles and electric vehicles not charging would have to pay for parking or be subject to enforcement action.


The spare capacity available for electric vehicle charging at the Council Offices was discussed and Members were advised that without a new substation there was very little spare capacity to support additional charging points or rapid charging infrastructure. The Council’s electric fleet charged overnight on a slower charge.


The Head of Commercial Services advised that it was likely that the Council would need to use a mix of fuel sources with hydrogen powered vehicles more likely for the heavy fleet.


The Chairman requested a standing item on total electric vehicle charging sessions be added for future meetings.



Action Plan - Delivering Against and Monitoring


Members discussed the merits of an annual monitoring report to measure progress against targets. The following points were raised:


·         The merit in producing an annual monitoring report

·         The need for a comprehensive greenhouse gas emissions report that demonstrated progress against targets

·         The importance of measuring against internationally recognised standards that would allow for meaningful comparisons



Greenhouse Gas Emission - Asset Glide Path


The Head of Assets and Building Control advised that work was being undertaken to identify potential actions to reduce the Council’s green house gas emissions and identify the residuals that would need to be offset to achieve net zero emissions.


The following points were discussed:


·         That a key workstream would concern the move away from gas with electricity expected to be the main energy source in the future

·         That the electricity industry had the objective of being carbon zero by 2040

·         That renewables offered a lot of options

·         That the two leisure centres, the council offices, street lighting (prior to the new LED lighting) and the heavy waste fleet were the Council’s primary source of emissions

·         That if it was note affordable to replace the heavy waste fleet then steps would need to be taken to off-set it

·         The LED lighting had been installed for the Council’s public toilets which would lead to improvements

·         That not all of the Council’s assets had Automatic Meter Reading (AMRs) meters installed and consequently some of the figures provided for energy consumption were based on estimates


Councillor C A Vinson requested that the emissions be collated for all key assets in future on a quarterly basis, which could be incorporated into the Performance Report.



Tree Planting


The Head of Commercial Services provided an update on tree planting. Members were advised that tree planting was not a solution to bad behaviour and the importance of tree planting following work to reduce emissions rather than leading it was emphasised.


The following points were discussed:


·         That the Council was investigating potential sites for woodland to be planted.  

·         That native hedges had an important role to play compared to trees as they required less maintenance which in turn reduced the emissions produced in maintaining them

·         The Council would focus on the planting of native trees with consideration given to the places they would be planted to avoid damaging infrastructure, etc.

·         That there was currently a high demand for native tree species

·         That all tree planting had a failure rate and there would therefore be a need for replanting where tress failed

·         That the option of a memorial tree was being considered as these would normally be older trees with a greater chance of succeeding once planted


It was expected that by the summer the Council would be in a position to communicate its plans for tree planting to the public and that the planting would take place in the autumn.


Councillor C A Vinson requested a tree update for the summer.


LED Streetlighting


The Principal Climate Change and Sustainability Officer presented the update on LED Streetlighting. A comparison of the energy usage between the upgraded LED Streetlighting and the original streetlighting demonstrated that there had been a 78.9% decrease in kilowatt hours over a 7-month period.


Members were advised that there were still some unmetered energy supplies that needed to be addressed but once the final figures had been produced the results would be publicised.


Members welcomed the significant reduction in energy usage that had resulted from the switch to LED street lighting.



Solar Together Kent


The Principal Climate Change and Sustainability Officer informed members that the next round of the Kent Solar Together scheme was due to open for registration on 7 February 2022. The first round had achieved an average discount of 33% against the

typical market price. While there was no guarantee that a similar discount would be achieved in the next round it was anticipated that a discount in the region of 20% could potentially be achievable.


The Council was due to send out 8,000 letters to publicise the scheme which was open to small and medium size businesses as well as households. In addition to direct mailing the Council was also using social media to promote the scheme.


Councillor C A Vinson suggested that the use of local case studies would demonstrate the benefits of the scheme to residents and businesses.



Funding Streams


The Principal Climate Change and Sustainability Officer presented an update to Members on funding streams. The key points were as followed:


·         LADS 1 – This scheme was led by Dartford Borough Council with some measures being delivered in the Dover District. It was noted that the new standards imposed on insulation measures from 1 November 2021 had resulted in significantly higher costs due to the requirement for additional ventilation, surveys and structural works and this had reduced the number of eligible properties.


·         LADS 2 - Only one of the four Managing Agents had signed contracts with GSEEH. The alternative was for councils to use the funding allocated to their areas themselves. In the case of the Dover District this sum was £365,000. Due to concerns from Dover District Council and other authorities in Kent over legal documentation and GDPR implications it was considered unlikely without an extension to the 31 March 2022 deadline that the majority of the funding provided for LADS 2 would be spent in time.


·         ECO4 – The commencement of ECO4 had been delayed although it was expected that there would be a transitional period between the end of ECO3 and the delayed start of ECO4. It was expected that the number of gas boiler replacements would be significantly reduced under ECO4. 


·         Household Support Fund - The Council shared the £171,826 in grants allocated to Dover District Council through Kent County Council to local partners - Dover and Deal Foodbanks, Deal and Sandwich Age Concern, Dover Riverside Centre, Dover District Citizens Advice Bureau, United Families and SWEP. The fund would support families and over 50s in food and/or fuel poverty over the winter months.


·         There was £15,000 of additional funding secured from Kent County Council to provided funding to assist some residents to repair boilers and with ventilation works now required for insulation measures. The deadline for funding was the end of March 2022.


·         Warm Home Fund – A joint funding bid with Dartford Borough Council with Dover District Council acting as the lead authority was submitted in January 2022. The funding was specifically focused on local authorities that had not received funding through the Sustainable Warmth Competition. The objective of the fund was to support decarbonisation and the council’s bid related to Air Source Heat Pumps and Hybrid Air Source Heat Pumps. There application included provision to allow for ECO4 changes and to enable the Council to take advantage of any new technological advances in the next 2 years.


·         Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund – The second wave of funding was expected to open in spring 2022 and in preparation for this the Council had held discussions with Turner and Townsend (BEIS funded and appointed Consultants) to identify how the council could maximise its chances of a successful bid. It was hoped that a successful bid could support the decarbonisation of 1,500 units of housing stock.


The Head of Assets and Building Control stressed the importance of a strategy that would inform the Council in its bidding  ...  view the full minutes text for item 42.


Update on Actions From Last Meeting


Members noted the update on actions from the last meeting.