Our Commitment to our Local Environment
The effect of our changing local weather patterns on people will depend on how well we can evolve the management of our services to enable us to respond efficiently to the changes.
To do this the South Staffordshire 'Energy and Our Local Environment Framework' (a Refreshed Climate Change strategy) and supporting plans have been produced to protect our local environment and resources, cut our energy wastage and increase energy efficiency.
Actions that we are looking at, include:
- Improving the efficiency of buildings including our own estate and residents homes;
- Raising awareness across all sectors of the causes of changing local weather patterns and how they can be mitigated; and
- Ensuring that our public sector services are prepared to adapt to the implications of changing weather patterns.
What are the Council doing?
Home Energy Conservation Act (HECA) Report 2019
The Council realises that local authorities have to play a role in improving the energy efficiency of the residential accommodation in their areas, and thereby achieving reductions in domestic carbon emissions. Local authorities are required under the above Act as determined by the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change in guidance notes issued July 2012, to produce reports setting out the energy conservation measures that the Council considers practicable, cost-effective and likely to result in significant improvement in the energy efficiency of residential accommodation in the district.
South Staffordshire Council has produced the HECA Report 2019 Submission below, which includes the following projects and activities that the Council will undertake and facilitate in the next few years:
- Help to access funding for Warmer Homes for those vulnerable and provide energy efficiency and energy savings advice through South Staffordshire Warmer Homes Advice Line on 0800 193 1902 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Involvement in National & Local Initiatives such as Energy Company Obligation (ECO) click on the link below to view our Statement of Intent.
South Staffordshire Council's ECO: Help to Heat Flexible Eligibility Statement of Intent.
This statement sets out South Staffordshire Council's flexible eligibility criteria for the ECO: Help to Heat programme. It aims to help households living in fuel poverty, living on a low income and vulnerable to the effects of a cold home to help deliver the Council's Warmer Homes scheme ambitions. Click here to view our ECO3 Flexible Eligibility Statement of Intent V4 published May 2019. This has replaced our Statement of Intent (SOI) V3 published October 2018.
What savings has the Council made?
The Council's Carbon Footprint. In 2017 - 2018 the Council reduced it's emissions from the baseline year 2010/2011 by 23%. Saving a total of 392 tonnes of CO2e! This equates to about 400 hot air balloons!
To ensure the Council is accountable for the greenhouse gas emissions produced from what we do, the Council has published the latest reports on our Carbon Footprint. To view them click on the links below. The reports set out the amount and source of our emissions in tonnes carbon dioxide equivalents, (tCO2e).
How you can help with environmental change
Climate Change is a variation in our weather patterns caused by global warming. Scientists believe that we have contributed to global warming mainly through burning fossil fuels and deforestation.
The more fossil fuels, such as coal, natural gas and oil we burn, the more carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere. These greenhouse gases that we release then create a dense layer around the earth which prevents heat from escaping resulting in the earth warming up.
Deforestation also adds to climate change as trees naturally absorb carbon dioxide and help control global warming. Since farming began, over half of the world's forests have been cleared. Therefore this combined with the burning of fossil fuels has lead to more and more greenhouse gases being put into the atmosphere than ever before.
We can all alter the changes in our weather patterns by reducing the amount of greenhouse gases being released from the burning of fossil fuels. We can do this by using less energy which reduces the amount of fossil fuels needed to be burnt to make electricity and heat for our buildings.
If we don't do anything it is believed that there will probably be a continued change in our weather such as warmer drier summers and warmer wetter winters which is already having an effect on where we live. This has been seen recently in South Staffordshire where the Canadian geese in Perton aren't migrating as they did originally due to our warmer winters. This change to the species population has resulted in greater erosion of embankments and grassland and increased competition with native animal species.
Climate change effects have also been seen in the drying up of pools such as the Wyrley Essington Canal, resulting in a loss of habitats due to drier summers.
If there are no changes made now, many more risks are likely to occur and our environment will suffer.
For more information on climate change and the importance of this issue, please visit the Met Office Climate Change guide.
The Strategic Planning Team manages and maintains a register of persons who have an interest in local planning documents (Local Plan Database); those who wish to register land for future development on our Self and Custom Build Register and/or Strategic Housing and Employment Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA); and regarding Empty Properties and Warmer Homes. In order to do this in an effective way we will need to collect and use personal information about you. For more information about how we process this data see Strategic Planning Team - Data Protection.