On December 7th, Cllr Kirsten Robb (Scottish Green Party, East Kilbride East), presented a motion to the full council setting out further steps to cut council fuel consumption, reduce carbon emissions and kick start the local green economy in South Lanarkshire. The final text of the motion can be viewed below.
South Lanarkshire Greens wish to extend thanks to Cllr Ross Clark (SNP, Larkhall) for seconding the motion and to Cllr Joe Fagan (Labour, East Kilbride Central North) for his constructive engagement and welcome amendment.
The motion “Cut Bills, Cut Carbon, Kick Start the Green Economy” passed, amended, by unanimous consent in the last full council meeting of 2022.
Motion: This council agrees to take the following additional action on energy efficiency to achieve multiple benefits: save money for front-line services, reduce South Lanarkshire’s risk to future energy price shocks, cut carbon emissions, improve wellbeing, reduce fuel poverty and kick start the local green economy.
1. Produce an energy demand reduction plan for council buildings as part of its coming strategy for corporate assets considering actions such as consulting on a set point of 18 degrees or a ‘one degree less’ approach where it is safe to do so, reducing heating times or boiler temperatures and engaging and supporting Members and staff in other immediate, no/low cost ways to reduce bills.
2. Adopt the highest possible standards of energy efficiency for all South Lanarkshire Council funded building projects and in the forthcoming Residential Design Guide, by:
- Requesting a report on the transition to higher energy standards be brought to the Climate Change and Sustainability Committee with recommendations made to a future meeting of the full Council and that this report consider: –
- Challenges, opportunities, current and emerging issues and progress in the transition to higher standards of energy efficiency.
- A moratorium on fossil-fuelled heating systems in new builds and appropriate lead-in times.
- Further development of the ‘Fabric First’ approach, including Passivhaus, Net Zero Public Standard or equivalent highest possible energy efficiency standards for all future council funded new builds.
- The Council’s expectations of volume house-builders and developers and the case for a ‘South Lanarkshire Standard’ to help reach the highest energy efficiency standards possible.
- Investigating retrofitting council buildings to Passivhaus/Gold or equivalent standards for properties where it could bring substantial savings for council and/or tenants.
- Use learning from council funded high energy efficiency building projects and research from South Lanarkshire College and other partners to engage with volume house builders to share learning.
- Asking developers in their energy statement to demonstrate how the development will adhere to the principles of ‘Fabric First’, and how high standards of operational energy efficiency will be achieved.
To close the building performance gap, consider a local system to check compliance against a suitable indicator which gives a good measure of build quality and energy efficiency such as air tightness, reporting back to a suitable committee on options.
3. Kick start the local green economy through the council’s own long term new build / retrofit programme so giving local businesses the confidence to develop new products and skills to serve the council’s investment programme and the growing wider market
- Working with local colleges, Hamilton based https://www.be-st.build/about/ , Skills Development Scotland and businesses to review the local supply chain for low carbon construction materials, construction / retrofit qualifications and skills to identify current supply, gaps and opportunities for local workers and the economy.
- Using and encouraging others to use / gain the government TrustMark (or equivalent) which details registered qualified professionals who build / install to the standards required to meet high energy efficiency standards
- Exploring setting up / expanding a green-economy skills academy and apprenticeship programme with local colleges, social landlords and businesses to skill-up and embed the high standards required and provide local work force opportunities.
South Lanarkshire Greens are now focusing on new work to improve the lives of the people of South Lanarkshire, mitigate against the cost-of-living crises and the twin crises of climate change and environmental breakdown. With your help we can do even more; you can find out how to donate by clicking here. You can join the Scottish Greens by clicking here.
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