Leeds revamps public buildings’ efficiency for £1.2m

The emblem of Leeds is a golden owl – which is perhaps why Leeds has seen the wisdom of energy efficiency as this week it announced several huge public buildings […]

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By Vicky Ellis

The emblem of Leeds is a golden owl – which is perhaps why Leeds has seen the wisdom of energy efficiency as this week it announced several huge public buildings in the northern city are getting upgrades to make them more efficient.

Leeds City Council has agreed a £1.2 million deal with energy firm E.ON to improve nine buildings including the Civic Hall (pictured) and Town Hall, Leeds Art Gallery, the Central Library and a sports centre.

The revamp could result in energy use and carbon emissions being cut by a fifth, says E.ON.

Leeds City Council will front the cash with the guarantee that the proposed measures will pay for themselves in less than seven years.

Councillor Mark Dobson, Leeds City Council’s executive member for the environment said: “With a commitment to reduce emissions from council operations and across the city by 40% by 2020, we are investing in a number of public buildings to improve their energy performance and cost-efficiency.”

He said using an Energy Performance Contract means the council will get its energy savings within a fixed budget.

This is the second RE:FIT agreement between E.ON and Leeds City Council. Under a previous project, the energy firm assessed nine buildings including data centres, schools, leisure centres and a transport depot.

Richard Scott, Head of Energy Efficiency for E.ON’s Connecting Energies business said: “The real beauty of this project is we’re cutting energy costs and carbon emissions to meet the evolving needs and expectations of local people without the need for the authority to shoulder the operational costs itself.”