Northumbrian Water to use 100% renewable power following Ørsted deal
Northumbrian Water, the British water provider, has signed a four-year renewable energy deal with Ørsted.
The Danish energy supplier will provide Northumbrian Water will enough clean energy to power all 1,858 of its sites.
The agreement will see the British company annually save 125,000 tonnes of CO2.
The contract is one of the biggest the water firm has ever agreed to and will cover large treatment works to smaller telemetry systems.
“Energy is an essential part of our business and our contract with Orsted has enabled us to significantly reduce our carbon footprint, as well as driving down costs,” stated Northumbrian Water’s Commercial Director, Graham Southall.
“At Northumbrian Water, we want to work with forward thinking, responsible supply partners whose values match our own,” remarked the firm’s Category Manager, Philip Carvel.
“Ørsted is a market leader in green energy solutions and has a remarkable vision for a more sustainable world.
“Combining this with a highly competitive commercial offer means that we can keep costs down as well as reduce our environmental impact – a great result for our customers.”
Northumbrian Water has also set sustainability targets such as using 100% of its sewage sludge to create energy through anaerobic digestion.
“Orsted is driving the transition to low-carbon energy systems in the UK, and we believe that businesses should have access to renewable electricity supply without incurring additional cost,” said Jeff Whittingham, Managing Director at Orsted Sales UK.
“Naturally, we are delighted that Northumbrian Water shares our ambition of creating this greener energy future. It’s exciting that such a large and trusted UK supplier places such a strong emphasis on sustainability.”
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.