Issue - meetings

Building Heating and Energy Efficiency Policy

Meeting: 17/10/2022 - Council (Item 9)

9 Heating and Energy Policy pdf icon PDF 380 KB

Report of the Cabinet Member Climate Emergency

Additional documents:


The Cabinet Member for Climate Emergency introduced the report, saying that everyone was aware of the current cost-of-living crisis and spiralling energy costs, and that as well as making sure residents have access to advice and information, the council must lead by example and take action to lower its own energy bills, while protecting its finances and the planet. Its large portfolio, which includes Trust properties and Cheltenham Borough Homes, results in high energy use, and the report sets out a pathway, starting with benchmarking to understand better our energy use and make sure solutions are equitable, and taking account of changes in the way we operate, such as encouraging on-line meetings where possible, retrofitting older buildings rather than demolishing them, and looking for innovative solutions such as solar power.   She thanked the climate, finance and property teams for their hard work, and asked Members, as civic custodians of the property portfolio, to make sure they lived according to the principles in the document and encouraged partnership organisations to do the same – meeting Net Zero is a team sport, and we must work together to achieve our climate goals.

Members thanked the Cabinet Member for Climate Emergency for her comprehensive and diligent report.  In response to Members’ questions, she said:

-       she was conscious that the Municipal Offices are old and large, with a heating system that doesn’t work as well as we would like.  She confirmed that its future was under constant review, and where possible, officers were encouraged to work from home;

-       she had no reports of staff currently working from home deciding to work in the office to save on heating bills, so could give no opinion on the potential implications of this - she will make some enquiries;

-       regarding the council’s carbon footprint, consideration of this tended to focus on its properties rather than any increase incurred by encouraging staff to work at the office rather than at home, resulting in additional vehicle use, single-use plastic and so on.  The council is always looking for alternative solutions, encouraging staff to understand the impact of what they do, and looking at ways to be more sustainable – it was all about finding the best ways to do business with the lowest possible climate impact;

-       regarding Scope 3 emissions, which seem to be quite low in the report,  those of the council are different from those of an average business, and she hopes to present meaningful and accurate statistics, looking at work the council and its partners do.  It is an ongoing project;

-       she confirmed that Cheltenham Trust is a key priority in the report, particularly as it includes many beautiful heritage buildings which the council wants to preserve for future generations while reducing operation costs;

-       she shared a Member’s concern that energy, gas and water usage would no longer be included in tenants’ service agreements, leaving them responsible for managing their own consumption.  She did not want to leave tenants at  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9