NEWCASTLE CITY COUNCIL (United Kingdom).

CONTACT DETAILS

Project manager:Adrian MCLOUGHLIN , adrian.mcloughlin@newcastle.gov.uk

Financial Manager: Richard FENTON, richard.fenton@newcastle.gov.uk

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Newcastle City Council is the Local Authority covering the city of Newcastle upon Tyne and is one of the largest public sector organisation and employer in the North East of England. Newcastle has been acclaimed the most sustainable city in the UK two years running in an influential new report acknowledging success in promoting environmental and sustainability issues.

The City Council has an extensive track record in securing and successfully delivering a wide range of European supported projects including European interventions targeting the environmental and sustainability agenda. Newcastle City Council is one of the first signatories of the EU Covenant of Mayors on Sustainable Energy which commits the council to reducing carbon emissions by at least 20% by 2020. Our Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) was approved in October 2010 together with the City Climate Change Strategy. The City has taken the regional lead on developing financial packages for low carbon retrofits to homes (Warm Up North Project) and would be able to disseminate the findings and tools from this project across all local authorities in the North East and beyond.

However, our role requires the coordination of a number of external partners and stakeholders, but ultimately requires the engagement of our citizens to accept new technologies and behaviours if we are to be successful in achieving our local carbon ambitions.

Newcastle’s carbon footprint is approximately 1.9 million tonnes of CO2 per year as measured in 2005 by the national indicator NI186 – this is our baseline. This means the Council’s operational share is approximately 3.8% (72,000 t CO2). Reducing the remaining 96.2% requires a strong partnership approach.

Industrial and Commercial emissions, includes public sector activities, such as City Council, NHS and Universities.

Newcastle has well developed climate change and energy plans at the city scale. We have submitted our Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) and have been working on the implementation for 4 years. Although this has helped to instigate some of the key initiatives that we need in place to deliver our carbon plans, the SEAP and Energy Master Plan has not developed technology specific roadmaps. We have a strong programme to deliver market ready, domestic energy efficiency measures and have set up the required projects, under national legislation to ensure we have universal services on offer to residents of the city – Warm Up North (which was supported by an Intelligent Energy Europe Mobilising Local Energy Investment grant). We see this R4E project as being able to help develop some of the specific visions and roadmaps around the next generation of technologies. To achieve our SEAP objectives and targets, we need to be delivering these types of measures before 2020. However, we have no existing plans to push forward the next generation of technologies that are not quite market ready or are not supported by national legislation and funding criteria – this is one of the key areas we want to focus on in the visioning and road map development work, within the R4E project. We are already working with the UK Energy technologies Institute Smart Systems and Heating programme which is designed to deploy the next generation of domestic retrofit technologies (either at community scale of individual dwelling level), we are bidding to secure a large demonstration project for the city. However, we will also need to capture any lessons from the design and consultation of this type of project and understand the potential of such interventions at the city scale to support our overall SEAP objectives. This would be one of the key topics that Newcastle would like to explore with the R4E project. The challenges are around working with wider stakeholders, including our privatised power distribution network operators (DNO), local skills and academy providers, our local investment community and the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (NELEP), some of the technology providers and our universities to develop realistic roadmaps and future technology deployment and investment plans. In addition, we see the need to feedback findings through planning policy and to national government departments. We would be able to share our lessons widely across the North East England (as 12 local authorities collaborate on energy policy and worked collectively towards all North east England Local Authorities submitting SEAPs to the Covenant of Mayors). We also work with the English Core Cities network – the 8 big cities outside London to share knowledge and expertise and develop joint initiatives.

The other area (which is less defined at this stage) would be to evaluate the deployment options for certain types of technologies into public buildings. We would look to broaden this beyond City Council buildings and to develop best practice networks of individuals with remit to implement low carbon techniques and technologies into existing public buildings. This could include academic, educational institutions and health sector buildings.

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