We all depend on energy to heat our homes, cook our food, power the electrical goods we use and run our cars. Issues surrounding global energy security and supply, and escalating costs are well documented. The challenges now are to reduce demand for energy, invest in local sustainable energy supply and provide citizens with energy security and access to more affordable supply.
Much of our energy is used in our homes, and most of our homes were built some time ago. Even by 2050 the vast proportion of all homes in the UK will have been built in the 20th, not the 21st Century. Retrofitting our homes will therefore be crucial to reducing our demands for energy and moving towards our One Planet Cardiff ambition.
As part of our commitment to the European Union’s Covenant of Mayors we’ve set a citywide per capita CO2 reduction target of 26% by 2020, and have formed citywide partnerships with local businesses and organisations to deliver this.
In addition we’re committed to reducing our own CO2 emissions from Council activities by 60% by 2018 and have committed over £1,250,000 to energy projects recently with further, greater investment planned.
Our approach must ensure that we tap into the potential sustainable energy generation opportunities in the city such as solar, hydro, biomass, ground heat, tidal and wind power. Energy technology in particular provides the opportunity to grow innovation through partnerships and new business, and make provision for green jobs and prosperity.
Community engagement to reduce energy demand and increase energy efficiency is also important. Recently we worked with the Energy Saving Trust to provide 1000 homes in Rhiwbina with energy and water reduction advice, resulting in carbon and cost savings.
A number of schemes to reduce energy demand and increase local sustainable energy production are underway or planned; these are detailed in the One Planet Cardiff delivery plan.