- Public Buildings
Brighton and Hove Energy Services Co-op (BHESCo) were commissioned to prepare a feasibility study for five public buildings in the village and to assess the potential of reducing their CO2 emissions through energy savings and renewable energy technologies. These buildings were:
- Henfield Leisure Centre
- The Henfield Hall
- St Peter’s Church
- Henfield Haven
- Youth Centre
BHESCo submitted their report in May 2020 which made proposals for carbon reduction initiatives. If all the proposals were implemented for each building, there would be a reduction in energy and carbon emissions of 50%. The greatest reduction would be 80% and the lowest 30%. The total capital cost would be £150,000 and with an energy cost reduction of £13,500, an average pay back for all the buildings could be achieved within 11 years. Two of the buildings would see a return within 6 years.
Most of the buildings are heated by gas. The most obvious area for improvement in many of them is in the control systems so that only areas of the building that are being used are heated as and when required. There are also some potential improvements to the fabric of the buildings to reduce heat losses.
Buildings which move to heating from electricity, preferably using a heat pump to improve efficiency, will see further CO2 emissions reductions in the coming years as the grid electricity supply decarbonises year-on-year.
All of the buildings have had some LED lighting either installed, or planned, either as lamps fail or as a more deliberate campaign. This will help to reduce electricity consumption in all the buildings and it is encouraging to see building management teams taking these steps already.
BHESCo put together proposals for the Leisure Centre and Henfield Hall where the best returns can be achieved. Both these buildings have large south facing roofs which can accommodate solar panels of over 60kW each and could make a significant contribution to carbon reduction in Henfield. The Henfield Hall was the first to complete this work via a grant from the Horsham District Community Climate Fund to install PV solar panels on the roof.
The next project to near fruition in 2022 from the BHESCO feasibility study is the Henfield Haven, which is finalising a project to install 30kW of Photo Voltaic (PV) panels.
Recommendations included better control of gas boilers, the conversion of fluorescent lamps to LED lighting and the installation of solar panels.
Due to the pandemic, it has taken time for the PV project to become a reality and the Haven is at the stage where funds need to be raised to help meet the £30,000 capital cost. The benefits will mean that their electricity bill will be cut by 40% and there will be a reduction of 7.5 tonnes of CO2 every year.
With the ever increasing rise in energy costs and the need to reduce the use of fossil fuels these solar projects will make a considerable contribution in making Henfield more sustainable.
- Carbon Neutral Henfield
SH2030 has been supporting the parish council to prepare a motion to declare a climate emergency in Henfield. A motion was presented to the Parish Council and was unanimously approved. We are currently assisting the parish council in preparing a strategy for becoming carbon neutral, though due to Covid this has been delayed slightly.
- Carbon Footprint Calculator
SH2030 strongly advocates that every household should use a carbon footprint calculator in order to assess and then take action to reduce our personal carbon footprint – we can wait for government action to trickle down at some future point, or we can make our own choices today and be a part of the solution. There are lots of online calculators available but one we would recommend is: https://www.mycarbon.co.uk/calculator
SH2030 is part of an area sustainable group which includes Steyning, Hurstpierpoint, Hassocks and Keymer to hold meetings with local councils and our MP to discuss and put forward our views on how best to achieve a swift transition to a carbon neutral society. Part of this process will be to also change hearts and minds in our community so that people can begin their own transition to a lifestyle with a lower carbon footprint.