A Net Zero Carbon City

Our ambition to achieve a Net Zero Carbon City by 2030 remains our priority and will be at the forefront of everything we do next.

In 2021 our Labour-led Council declared a Climate and Ecological Emergency. The urgent need for us all to reduce our carbon output has been at the forefront of our city’s aims. A Net Zero ambition involves significantly reducing our carbon footprint whilst ‘off-setting’ any carbon output wherever we can.

Key achievements last year

A new Net Zero team has been established within the Council with Net Zero Ambassadors to support this work. We are working with the Centre for Energy and the Environment at the University of Exeter to create a Corporate Carbon Reduction Plan to meet our Net Zero 2030 commitment.

A new Local Plan is being produced which sets the expectations for the city’s future development highlighting important issues around shaping the city, Net Zero, biodiversity, connectivity and active travel.

Our own Council Housing plans to build 500 new homes to Passivhaus or equivalent energy rating standards will reduce each household’s carbon emissions by an average of 3.5 tonnes per year. Our Retrofit programme to improve energy efficiency in all of our existing homes has already seen a carbon reduction of over 3 tonnes per property. By the end of 2022 we will have completed 400 homes, reducing our city’s carbon emissions by around 12,000 tonnes.

Low carbon energy efficient developments: St Sidwell’s Point, built to Passivhaus standards, is one of the best facilities of its kind anywhere is Europe. The low-energy use building is defining standards in the leisure and building industry and will operate on 70% less energy usage and 50% less water usage than standard pools and leisure centres. Together with the new Bus Station which opened last July this £50m redevelopment is the biggest single investment the Council has made in a generation.

Energy efficiency Improvements: We have secured consortium bid funding of £2m to provide energy efficiency improvements for around 200 owner-occupied and privately rented properties.

Our food waste collection service first stage has been rolled out to 1,300 properties in Alphington. Coffee-pod recycling from home is offered to all residents.

Our tree planting continues city-wide, with more than 680 trees planted across our wards over the last year.

We have significantly reduced our use of glyphosate weedkiller through the reduction in the number of annual sprays and community-led opt-out alternatives.

A grant of £661,500 from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Fund has allowed us to upgrade the Council’s building management system, which will lead to further reductions in our carbon footprint.

What we will do next

  • Invest time and resources into Exeter City Futures, a community interest company working towards Exeter becoming a net zero carbon city by 2030.
  • Continue to work with key stakeholders in the city including Devon County Council, Exeter University, Exeter College, RD&E Hospital and Exeter residents to achieve a Net Zero City by 2030.
  • Launch a new Public Electric Vehicle Charging Strategy for Exeter.
  • Consult with residents and stakeholders on the new Local Plan Draft highlighting city shaping, Net Zero ambition, biodiversity, connectivity and active travel.
  • Increase the number of homes benefitting from our council retrofit programme with a further 400 homes to be completed by Spring 2023 reducing carbon output by up to 70%.
  • Build 21 new Passivhaus standard council homes at Hamlin Gardens and 92 homes at The Gardens Whipton.
  • Continue to roll-out kerb-side food waste collection across the city
  • Plant 2-for-1 replacement trees for each one lost through ash-dieback disease.
  • Continue with the reduction of glyphosate herbicide use.
  • Commence work on the £3.5million Water Lane and Smart Grid and Storage Project, providing a renewable energy supply to the Council’s Operations Depot at Exton Road.
  • Roll out of the electrification of the Council’s operational fleet – starting with three new electric refuse collection vehicles.
  • Launch a new campaign in partnership with Great Western Railways to encourage visits to Exeter by train.

 

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