Barnsley completes £4m energy upgrade

Infrastructure and energy upgrade completed by Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council working with Ameresco in aim to be carbon neutral by 2040. 

A three-year project has just been completed in Barnsley to overhaul the local authority’s energy infrastructure. 

Photo of Barnsley Town Hall by Tony

The council declared a climate emergency in 2019 and the following year began the first phase of its upgrade project, focused on replacing existing coal-fired boilers in council buildings with a new combined heat and power (CHP) and gas-fired system. Renewable energy and energy efficiency specialists Ameresco added a new gas main and refurbished the existing air handling unit (AHU). 

A second phase, begun in 2021, focused on decarbonising heat. Via public sector decarbonisation scheme (PSDS) funding, Ameresco installed air source heat pumps in six Barnsley Council sites plus solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and other energy conservation measures.  

The aim of the upgrades is to save the council some 2,085,537 kilowatt-hours of energy per year, with a corresponding reduction in annual emissions equivalent to some 529 tonnes of CO2. This and renewable energy generation, will help the council to make significant progress towards its carbon neutral goal. 

Cllr Robert Frost, Cabinet Spokesperson for Core Services at Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, says: ‘As part of the decarbonisation of our public assets, which is 2% of the borough’s, we’ve got £4.3m of government funding. We partnered with Ameresco to implement infrastructure upgrades at multiple sites with a range of solutions that have cut down on the council’s energy usage.’ 

Britta MacIntosh is Executive Vice President of Ameresco’s Western Region and Europe Operations, adds: ‘To truly enhance energy resiliency and combat the climate crisis, it is crucial that we prioritise the implementation of diverse, comprehensive solution sets that combine renewable energy and energy efficiency updates. 

‘Our work with the Barnsley Council is a prime example of how local authorities should approach infrastructure redevelopment. The completion of this project will benefit the council with energy and cost savings for years to come, making a lasting impact on the local community.’ 

In related news:

Pilot Group and Reznor EMS saves businesses 43% on energy bills 

Bassetlaw District Council goes electric 

First-of-its-kind strategic energy partnership between Coventry City Council and E.ON


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