Saturday, 30 January 2010

Interesting Cabinet

Tomorrows Kirklees Cabinet meeting looks particularly interesting.

The Brian Jackson Centre which provides help and support to children and young families will be installing solar photovoltaic panels and improved heating and lighting controls utilising the Renewable Energy Fund established in a Green Party amandment to the Councils budget 10 years ago. The Conservatives had kicked this project back when they were in power but I took up the case with the new Labour administration and who knows I may have helped get them back on track. One additional benefit is that it is in the Newsome Ward helping us keep our status as the UK's biggest user of microgeneration technologies. We also find out next week (I hope) what will be going on with the government's Clean Energy Cashback so hopefully they will get a good return for the solar electricity they generate and use within the building.

Good News on the Biomass front and bad news on hydro side. 7 Kirklees Council owned buildings either have wood chip or wood pellet boilers installed or they have it planned in the next couple of years. In the Newsome Ward there is the Blagden Farm sheltered housing complex on Edale Avenue which once installed will save 45 tonnes of carbon each year. I wonder if they've made use of CERT funding from utilities on his one? Could save the Council a few pennies. The disappointments are Huddersfield Town Hall which apparently doesn't have the storage capacity for the wood pellets and the Deighton Centre who's uncertain long term future has delayed the investment. But the hydro plant proposed for Aspley has been cancelled due to additional costs that British Waterways would have imposed for use of the weir. The Renewable Energy Fund that was allocated to this project has been diverted to support the Hillhouse Low Carbon Communities project.

A tale of two housing developments is also on the agenda. 36 Council homes in Batley will be built to Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 which will have to incorporate some form of renewable energy to acheive that standard. In Newsome Ward on the Poplar/Gelder Estate site 35 homes will be built by Yorkshire Housing on former Council land but this will only be built to Code for Sustainable Homes level 3. I did question this and suggested that the new Clean Energy Cashback could make the installation of solar panels which would raise the standard to 4 possible but that appears to be ignored.

Other good stuff on the agenda include voltage optimisation and the councils preparation for the Carbon Reduction Commitment.

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